February 26, 2024

Revitalizing Mathematics Education through a Cluster Strategy: A Successful Initiative in Cameroon

In an effort to enhance mathematics education in secondary schools across Cameroon, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Teacher Training Program (AIMS TTP) embarked on a mission to empower educators at various levels. The initial phase trained a significant number of in-service and pre-service teachers. However, an evaluation uncovered shortcomings in the effective implementation of acquired skills, leading to the adoption of the Cluster Strategy for improvement. This approach aimed to foster knowledge exchange among teachers within the same neighborhood, thereby enhancing classroom practices. Despite initial challenges, the strategy gained momentum, with hundreds of Cluster Leads trained nationwide.

With the Cameroon Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC) progressing with digitalization efforts and recognizing the importance of collaborative learning, AIMS TTP stepped in to support mathematics teachers in aligning their lessons with the digital era. This led to a focused effort in the Fako Division of the South West Region, where Cluster Leads underwent a comprehensive 4-day training (from the 14th to the 17th of February 2024) to reinvigorate cluster activities.

The training focused on coordinating and facilitating learning among cluster members, as well as equipping participants with essential skills in:

  • digitalizing mathematics lessons;
  • utilizing digitalized lessons on the Ministry of Secondary Education platform.

Participants engaged in practical exercises, leveraging technology for collaboration and learning. Through Lesson Study and practical sessions, they refined their skills in lesson planning, digitalization, and MINESEC platform utilization. The workshop culminated in real classroom simulations at the Bilingual Grammar School Molyko in Buea, where teachers had the opportunity to implement their newly acquired techniques in six (06) classrooms (Form 1C; Classe de 4eme M2; Form 1G / 1B; Form 1F; Form 2A; Form 2D; Form 4A).

The endeavor was not without hurdles, including infrastructure limitations and technical errors in digitalized lessons. Recommendations were made for schools to be equipped with adequate resources, including generators and projection facilities. Additionally, individual mastery of tools like GeoGebra and LaTeX was emphasized for creating quality educational materials.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants expressed newfound confidence in their abilities and committed to continue implementing cluster activities in their respective schools. The success of the initiative was highlighted by the learners’ enthusiasm observed during live classroom teaching coupled with the visible enthusiasm in the teachers during training sessions as most of them wanted to take the lead and present the work done by their groups.

In essence, the journey towards educational excellence is a collective endeavor, and initiatives like the Cluster Strategy serve as pillars for progress. Moving forward, sustained collaboration; innovation; resource support; and a shared commitment to empowering the next generation of learners will be crucial in ensuring the continued success of mathematics education in Cameroon.

Read the full report: Link

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