In the past, our Math teachers were either rare or outnumbered. They were usually recognizable because they sort of belonged to a rare breed. Of course, aside from being easily branded as geniuses or geeks, they were also reputed for being “terror”—strict or difficult—if not inaccessible individuals.
But in recent years, more and more teachers in Mathematics are becoming visible or more approachable—if not newsmakers nationwide.
As the days pass, people are becoming more aware of the role and the rewards of mathematics education in the schools.
I am happy to know that our government itself has been making efforts to promote mathematics more aggressively in the past years.
In July 2018, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Capacity Building Program in Science and Mathematics Education.
The said partnership seeks to strengthen the collaboration between DepEd and DOST, through Science Education Institute (SEI) to give opportunities for Science and Mathematics public secondary school teachers to pursue their graduate and postgraduate degrees through the DOST-SEI Graduate Scholarship Programs.
With this, I believe that DepEd deeply recognizes the role of teachers in making “Mathematics more exciting and less difficult.”
According to Education Sec. Leonor Briones, it is the teacher that makes the difference in making Mathematics an exciting subject. He or she must take to the task of “erasing the notion that these learning areas are difficult and intimidating.”
DepEd is also staunch in saying that with the right approach and the right strategies of the teachers, learners may change “from hating math to finding it interesting and exciting and can even get very high grade.”
We can say that with this, the government has been making sure that through the enhanced knowledge and improved skills of the teachers, it will be able to help the students reach their full potential.
To help advance education in the country, DOST SEI now offers scholarships in science and technology in the undergraduate level. In 2018, DOST listed almost 9,000 qualified learners for the undergraduate scholarship program—over 8,000 of them from public and private schools nationwide.
This goes to show how the government has been taking seriously the mandate of making Mathematics Education competitive but rather a way of life for the Filipinos.
With more and more being granted free education to pursue studies and courses Mathematics, more and more teachers will be encouraged to further pursue their careers and in turn, more and more students will benefit from their higher learning, which will create a domino effect. The higher level that teachers pursue mathematics, the more likely it is for students to learn it better.
I look forward to the day when Mathematics will be as seen as one of the most desirable courses like the sciences—medicine or engineering—and this will be attributed, among others, to our government’s efforts to recognize the importance of Mathematics in our society.