Professional Teachers Union of Zambia (PROTUZ) has attributed the poor performance of 2021 grade nine pupils in mathematics to lack of adequate specialised mathematics teachers in schools.

Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima, Monday, said that the analysis of the performance by subject of the 2021 grade nine internal examination results revealed that the lowest pass rate was recorded in mathematics at 44.5 percent.

In an interview with Lusaka Star, PROTUZ General Secretary, Kangwa Musenge said that despite the high pupil-teacher ratio in most schools, government has not provided incentives to motivate mathematics teachers. 

We have noted that in the past few years, the performance in mathematics hasn’t been so well and we have established that one of the ingredients that has also led to poor performance in mathematics is the that the lack of incentives to mathematics teachers,

he said.

Kangwa said his Union is however hopeful that the Ministry of Education will employ more mathematics teachers  as they embark on the recruitment of 30 000 teachers this year. 

Meanwhile, an education expert, Rozious Siatwambo has blamed the poor performance of grade nine pupils in mathematics on the method of teaching being used in schools.

Mathematics has continued to pose a challenge because of how it is taught in schools. We have continued to use the old system of learning mathematics and we need to come up with better ways of teaching mathematics,

he said.

Siatwambo, who is also proprietor of Great North Road Academy, urged the Ministry of Education to adopt and implement modern ways of learning mathematics such as Abacus like is the case in India.  

 The usage of Abacus will enhance the interest in pupils to learn mathematics, hence, the performance of mathematics at both primary and secondary levels will improve,

he said.

Mathematics is one of the most important subjects to pupils because it helps open up their minds to solve different problems.