During the first week of November, Donovan Hunter, Principal of Denham Town High School, had a discussion with Rosemary Duncan, Principal of the Buju Banton Foundation, asking the Foundation to present a workshop focused on “The Importance of mathematics for life ”. He lamented the unsatisfactory results of the CSEC and the general lack of interest of the students in the subject. That same week, the Foundation recruited award-winning educator and math specialist Kamau Mahakoe to host a workshop titled “The Importance of Mathematics for Life” scheduled for Friday, November 12th. Mahakoe is the founder of Kemet Maasai Academy and author of Caribbean Mathematics for High School Graphs Manuals.
The school selected 20 students from grades 6, 10 and 11 and 30 students attended the workshop. Participants learned about the relevance of mathematics to everyday life and improving their careers. The general attitude of students towards math is that ‘it’s boring, difficult’, ‘only nerds like math’, ‘we can do without math’ and ‘we don’t have need for mathematics for everyday life ”. However, they were amazed to learn that every career field requires some knowledge of math, be it simple or complicated. Farmers, to weigh produce, crops, livestock and fertilizers, too much or too little could affect crops. Chefs, to maintain a consistent flavor in meals, must be able to calculate metrics and know how to value meals in order to make a profit. Architects, to plan initial plans and sketches. Civil engineers need knowledge of mathematics to build functional bridges and other structures. Carpenters and joiners need math skills to build furniture. In today’s world, builders use mathematics on a daily basis; for example, to determine the amount of material needed for a job, the amount of steel or the number of tiles. Pharmacists need strong math skills because one extra pill could kill someone. Meteorologists use mathematics to predict the weather.
Mahakoe said, “Mathematics is a study of numbers. It helps us understand our world. It develops capacities for reflection, effective communication, problem solving and critical thinking. We have to learn to understand the language of mathematics. When you understand the language of mathematics, you will understand the concept better. She further reiterated: “Mathematics and language skills complement each other. Whenever you are in math class, have a dictionary near you, just like in language class, as the names given to math things give clues as to what the student needs to do to calculate the answer. Therefore, make sure you have a dictionary near you when doing math. Whether face to face or online. Mathematics is a basic requirement for secondary / tertiary enrollment and entry into employment.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLES
Before Kamau finished the session, the students were given concrete examples of mathematical applications. They enthusiastically participated in solving the problems. The Buju Banton Foundation awarded prizes for correct answers.
Reggae and dancehall icon, Denham Town High School alumnus Buju Banton, who participated virtually, conveyed this message: “Mathematics is one of the most important subjects. Applicable in all careers, including music and entertainment. Rhythm, harmonies, tone, pitch, etc. all involve math. Determining the capacity of the halls, the prices of the tickets, the entertainment expenses, certainly implies knowledge of mathematics. Therefore, take math seriously. Take education seriously, because it is your ticket to a better life. “
Suzzette Baker, Deputy Principal of Denham Town Secondary School, said: “The work of the Buju Banton Foundation, although it is a gigantic task, has served to highlight the importance of mathematics. in all current and future endeavors. Kamau has been very helpful in changing the way students see and approach the subject of mathematics. The delivery of the information was relevant and at the level of the students to understand. Their participation has shown that they are interested in math but need motivation to pursue the subject to a higher level. Hearing our students say “half time ago, try harder with the math” gave a feeling of satisfaction. After hearing them complain about the delivery of material by teachers, this workshop has now allowed us to explore new ways to present this wonderful material to students. It was indeed a pleasure that the Buju Banton Foundation presented this math workshop to the students of Denham Town High School.
The workshop was supported by Kremi Caribbean Cream, Susie’s Bakery & Coffee Bar and Wisynco.