The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cameroon has expressed its appreciation of the Cameroonian government’s support for Teacher Training Program (TTP). Addressing trainees on October 13th 2020 at the start of a Workshop for in-service Mathematics Teachers in Limbe, Mr. Honoré Bernard Youfegnuy representing AIMS Cameroon’s Centre President, Prof. Mama Foupouagnigni, said “We appreciate the Cameroonian government for the framework of this Teacher Training project, for the support and for the approval of the existence of TTP in Cameroon.”
The Chief Operating Officer of AIMS Cameroon further explained that AIMS is enabling Africa’s youth to shape the continent’s future through STEM Education. “We are training the future leaders of this country and you are among the main actors because Mathematics underpins all other STEM subjects and you are the ones teaching Mathematics to these young people who will bring development,” Honoré Bernard Youfegnuy told the 49 in-service Mathematics teachers from private and public secondary schools in the South West and Littoral Regions.
While thanking AIMS Cameroon for undertaking the TTP project, the representative of the Inspector Coordinator General/Sciences (Focal Point AIMS – MINESEC) in the person of Mr. Engwa Patrick, National Pedagogic Inspector for Mathematics, underscored the importance of Mathematics teachers in Cameroon’s development equation. “Cameroon really counts on Mathematics teachers to become an emerging country by 2035 and why not before. I want to enjoin you to take the exercise seriously,” he urged.
In the same vein, the Academic Director of AIMS Cameroon, Prof. Marco Garuti stated that Mathematics is the backbone of Technology and Technology is the main driver of any meaningful development of the country. “Africa is rich in resources but poor in technology. We have to change that. We have to make sure that Africa takes full advantage of its resources and starts selling technology to Europe, America and China,” he told the trainees while emphasizing on Pan Africanism as a core value of AIMS since African countries had the same problems. “It has been estimated that in 20 years, 40% of the world’s youths will be in Africa and this could be a resource to drive the development of Africa. So it is our duty to make sure that this really becomes a resource and this can only be done through Mathematics. Reason why we have to all put hands on deck to let it happen,” he explained, giving as example the “Made in Rwanda” mobile telephone set in his pocket.
The 49 teacher trainees – 36 males and 13 females – were also edified by an elaborate presentation of AIMS-TTP by its Limbe Training Hub Coordinator and Pedagogic Adviser, Mrs Babila Emilia who drew alarming statistics from studies by AIMS Cameroon.
“When we are talking about development, we are talking Science, Technology and Mathematics and for any country to develop, it must invest in STEM. Everybody knows that yet Mathematics is neglected such that you have less than 25% of students going into higher education to do STEM Education. Most do history, political sciences, economics, marketing and even those areas still need a lot mathematics,” she said to justify AIMS-TTP Cameroon’s goal to improve the quality of teaching and learning Mathematics in Cameroon and demystify Mathematics to make secondary school students show more interest in the subject and increase the number of students who go in for STEM at Higher Education. A daunting mission which the trainees appropriated with resolve to digest the workshop’s training units in four days and return to their various schools to impact change by teaching Mathematics differently.
A series of workshops for pre-service and in-service Mathematics teachers are being organized this academic year nationwide, by AIMS-TTP Cameroon in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and the Government of Cameroon. The workshop which kicked off in Limbe on October 13th was the first of eight workshops that the town will host this academic year 2020-2021■