• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Vitamin M

Vitamin M

Growing up, I never liked Mathematics. Every Friday in elementary school, we were tested on all the subjects and I always dreaded the ‘almighty’ Maths test. Maths was a subject which was on the time-table more often than I would have liked it to be. Whenever the teachers came into the class, we would be asked to stand up to recite the mathematical times-table.

With very little shame, I admit I was one of those children who started to hum at the multiples of six. For example, we chanted, ‘six times one six, six times two twelve’ and when I got to places I didn’t automatically know and wasn’t quick enough to calculate, I would chant, ‘six times eight hmmm, six times nine hmmm’. The teachers didn’t have a clue what was going on until they marked our tests and examination scripts.

On getting to secondary school, it was a no-brainer that I avoided commercial and science classes because of the sure calculations that were included in the package. I went to art class, and I had no problem fitting in because it had all the subjects I was interested in. However, I could not escape from Maths, which was a big deal. That subject just couldn’t leave me alone. I knew that if I wanted to excel in my finals I had to know the subject. So I attacked it head on. I spent all my free time in the Maths lab solving Maths questions and when I hit a road block, the teachers were always eager to assist. I did my finals and I passed! It was not A++ but all the same I was elated. I didn’t have to deal with that dreadful subject ever again, so I thought. But I was wrong.

Writing my entry diploma examinations into the university, Maths was included. I prepared as hard as I could and the rest was God’s grace. I passed and I was admitted on merit. Yes I was happy again but even happier that I was done with the subject, save for everyday calculations and thanks to technology, every gadget comes with a calculator and there is no need for one’s brain to be exerted until last week.

Read also: ‘Nigeria requires conscious investment in mathematics education to stay competitive’

Yes, last week. Like I said earlier, I have no problem with basic maths, but I have just discovered a group of adults who still have a serious problem with the elementary part of the subject. In the professional institute where I am currently studying, we had our corporate lecturer come in to lecture us on capital and shares. Of course, we knew that there would be some calculation in this area, and then it came. The lecturer asked, ‘If there are one million shares in a company at one naira each, what is the nominal share capital?’

Of course, that’s an easy one.

‘One million naira,’ the class chanted.

The lecturer then asked again, ‘If there are one million shares in a company at fifty kobo each, what is the nominal share capital?’

I simply chanted, ‘Two million naira’

It wasn’t until the words came out of my mouth that I realised it was just a few of us that said it. Immediately the class had gone into frenzy as the lecturer had succeeded in confusing the majority.

‘Omo mehn, Seyi you have to teach me this thing oh because I don’t understand what this woman is saying again,’ said the young man sitting beside me.

I could not help but stifle a laugh.

Have a great Sunday.