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Mathematics, the Fuel for National Development

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Both national and human development, depend largely on the development of science and technology for which mathematics is the bedrock. Mathematics has been described as a precision tool used by all scientists in their search for a clear understanding of the physical world. The Encyclopedia Britannica (1981) defines mathematics as the science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects. Mathematics as a school subject is recognized as the foundation of science and technology without which a nation can never become prosperous and economically independent.

Roger Bacon (1214-1294), an English Franciscan friar, philosopher, scientist, and scholar of the 13th century, once stated:

“Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of the world.”

It is very important to note that mathematics, science, and technology enhance the prosperity of any society without them the resources of our nation cannot be structured for industrial growth and development Oyedun (2005).

To understand the role of mathematics in development, first, we have to see the need for mathematics in the developed or changing world. The need to understand and be able to use mathematics in everyday life and in the workplace has never been greater and will continue to increase.

For example:

  • Mathematics for life
  • Mathematics as a part of Cultural Heritage
  • Mathematics for the Workplace
  • Mathematics for the Scientific and Technical Community

Mathematics occupies a crucial and unique role in human societies and represents a strategic key in the development of the whole of mankind. The ability to compute, related to the power of technology and to the ability of social organization, and the geometrical understanding of space-time, that is the physical world and its natural patterns, show the role of Mathematics in the development of a Society.

Role of Mathematics in Social Development: Man is a social animal and human life depends upon the co-operation of each other. Group work helps social skills. The ability to work together on tasks with others can build various social skills. In order to live a social life, mathematical knowledge is needed, because of the give and take process, business and industry depend upon the knowledge of mathematics. The change in the social structure with regard to the modern facilities like mode of transport means of communication and progress in the field of science and technology is due to mathematics only. In this way, mathematics has played an important role in not only understanding the progress of society but also to develop society.

Role of Mathematics in Intellectual Development: Mathematics teaching is very important for intellectual developments there is no other subject in the curriculum likes mathematics which makes students brain active. Problem-solving helps in the development of mental faculties. Mental work is needed to solve mathematical problems. If a child has a mathematical problem her/his brain becomes active in solving that problem. Each problem of mathematics possesses such sequence which is necessary for the constructive and creative process. In this way, the all-mental abilities of children are developed through mathematics.

Mathematics, the Fuel for National Development

Mathematics, the Fuel for National Development

Role of Mathematics in Vocational Development: The main aim of education is to help the children to earn their living and to make them self-independent. To achieve this aim mathematics is a most important subject than any other. It (this aim) helps to prepare students for technical and other vocations where mathematics is applied e.g. engineering, architecture, accountancy, banking, business, even agriculture, tailoring, carpentry, surveying, and office work requires the knowledge of mathematics.

Role of Mathematics in Moral Development: Morality is the important phase of life, which is most, affected by time, person, situation, and place. As a subject, mathematics can have added to a student’s moral development since mathematical knowledge is helpful in character and personality development. It develops all those quantities which a person of strong character must possess. The child develops qualities of cleanliness, reality.

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Role of Mathematics in Spiritual Development: Mathematics’s main potential here seems to be regarding developing the skills of reflection and possibly, for the more receptive, a sense of the beauty of a solution. One gets pleasure in solving mathematical problems, especially when she/he gets the correct answers to her/his problem. At that moment every child feels satisfied, confident, and self-reliant.

These few points highlighted here give a good standing about the role that mathematic plays in national development. It is therefore expedient that we promote the teaching and learning of mathematics in our nation.

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