Prof. Sitsofe Enyonam Anku, President of the Ghana Mathematics Society, has been included in the top 50 shortlist, for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2018.
Currently, in its fourth year, the US $1 million award, is the largest prize of its kind.
Prof. Anku, a mathematics teacher at Meagasa Mathematics Academy in Accra, was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2018, after being selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.
During a courtesy call on Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education in Accra, Prof. Anku said that it was important for the teaching of mathematics to be modified, in order to make it more attractive to students.
He said when students were taught mathematics in a way that made them relate the subject to everyday life needs, they understood it better.
Prof. Anku noted that, the presumption by many that mathematics was a difficult subject arose because it was not taught in a manner that made students to understand it easily.
He noted that many students failed mathematics because they were not taught with the right approach.
Prof. Anku said reforming the teaching of mathematics was crucial because whilst education was at the core of the country’s development, it was impossible to progress, without a solid mathematical base.
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Education, congratulated Professor Anku for what he called, “an excellent work and a sender of Ghana to the world’.
He pledged the support of the Ministry to Prof. Anku, saying that: “the Ministry would be with you from now till you receive the one million dollars and bring it back home”.
The Minister expressed confidence in Prof. Anku’s ability to win the ultimate prize of one million dollars, if he made it through to the ten finalist teachers, to be decided and announced by a Prize Committee in February 2018.
On an appeal made by Prof. Anku to the Ministry, requesting support for the mathematics fraternity with funds, which will aid in the expansion of his ‘practical method’ of teaching mathematics to students and teachers across the country, the Minister said, “the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) manifesto of 2016 stipulates clearly our intentions for mathematics as a subject.”
“We (NPP) had a fair idea on how bad our students performed in mathematics and how difficult they found studying it, and we clearly had ideas on how we were going to solve our Mathematics problem. I must say it coincides with everything you (Prof. Anku) have said so far.”
Dr. Prempeh said the Ministry would be buying books in the course of the year, as part of efforts to enhance the study of mathematics, adding that, the Ministry did not consider the lack of resources as a hindrance to the study of mathematics but rather, the scarcity of people like Prof. Anku.
The Minister said government would do its best to ensure, that more children were mentored through mathematics because the subject, played a crucial role in every aspect of life.
Prof. Anku was short-listed for the Global Teacher Prize 2018, having been selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.
The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers’ play in the society.
Prof. Anku is the first Ghanaian to be nominated for the award.