Technology is increasingly becoming intertwined with every aspect of our lives. For any community to best leverage on technology, they need to understand how it works and how best to manipulate it to their advantage.
The only way to do that is by having in-depth knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). So in a nut-shell, STEM education is becoming a critical component in leveraging technology to combat the socio-economic challenges within our communities.
Taking a look at the African continent, the socio-economic growth trajectory is currently at unprecedented levels. Much of this growth can be attributed to innovation around the continent, but there is still room for growth.
That is why Google in partnership with CAMTEL and the MasterCard Foundation in collaboration with the Ministries of Secondary Education and Higher Education together with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) have launched the Mathematics Teacher Training Program (MTTP) in Cameroon.
This program is aimed at equipping Cameroon students with mathematical skills needed to become problem-solvers and thought leaders. The project’s goal is to build a pipeline of students with excellent mathematical skills, which can be used to eradicate the socio-economic challenges facing the Southern African nation.
The MTTP pilot program will run in Cameroon for five years. During that time, it is expected to improve the quality of mathematics education being offered at Cameroon’s secondary schools in both the Francophone and Anglophone learning institutions in the country.
“The program will ensure that knowledge, skills, and confidence are enhanced to improve the quality of the teaching and learning of mathematics in Cameroon,” said Jean Ernest Massena, the Minister of Secondary Education in Cameroon.
The MTTP program will give training to both teachers and students at the pre-service stage. Additionally, it will provide them the opportunity to scale up the existing teachers’ skills, curriculum, education inspectors and launch an ICT network of math teachers throughout the country. It will also go a long way in raising public awareness of math as a tool for national development.
The MTTP partners also want to look at the country’s education policy to check if it is consistent with the teachers’ qualifications and the assessment criteria being used. There is also going to be a lot of work being done regarding updating and standardizing the education curriculum, content and increasing investments towards teachers training programs.
Currently, there are about 50 lecturers at the country’s three High Teacher Training Colleges (HTTCs). MTTP wants to train the trainers with approximately 1,200 pre-service and 1,920 in-service math teachers. These teachers will then be tasked with training about 1.7 million students in the various secondary schools in Cameroon.
The program is also keen on increasing the transition rates for girls taking up STEM education.
Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, the Minister of Higher Education, said, “We look forward to the impact the MTTP will have on Cameroon’s education system and on building the pipeline of mathematics students who will lead the economic and technological advancement of the country and of Africa in the future.”