Thursday, June 14, 2018

Maths: To motivate or to maul?

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aths: a word that exudes both positive and negative vibes. The students, who get positive vibes from maths, feel confident at solving problems posed by the subject. But students, who get negative vibes from the subject, suffer from feelings of discomfort and shame on occasions. And the cogs of the education machine (read teachers) leave no stone unturned to make the discomfort of a weak -at- math   student worse by daily admiring the number-cruncher student in front of him/her.

The daily comparison with the brilliant- number –mind imbues a sense of guilt in the students who are not- so- great with numbers. The tender mind gets wrapped in the gloom and despondency. As the classes progress, cracking the math code becomes tougher. And when a stage arrives to choose a career path, the not-so-brilliant-in-math brain opts for arts. The jobs like banking and railways or other jobs for that matter that require math skills, are out of reach for the guys just because our education system couldn’t care less about their struggles of learning maths. The big institutions like IIMs and IITs that beacon good future is out of question for guys who fail to befriend numbers.  And in India vacancies are not in galore for being good at writing essays or poetries.  

Therefore, math is intertwined with most of the career options that Indian Democracy has to offer. In such situation why there is very little being done to understand and address the problem of dyscalculia (both mild and extreme cases) in India? Why students are being left on their own or on their destiny to handle the handicap with maths? Instead of making fun of a guy who is weak at maths, teachers should help him/her get out of the vortex of math- scare through simple examples and other easy learning methods. After all teachers are there to make students learn not to smirk at. 

With consistent help and confidence anyone can excel at any subject(though while saying this I agree that the inclination of the mind also matters but with consistent endeavor a certain degree of expertness can be achieved in a subject that gives you self-confidence to handle the subject). And one thing must be ingrained in the weak –at- math students’ minds that if they are weak at maths, then it is no crime. They needn’t feel ashamed for that. Being weak at maths is just a kind of obstacle. And obstacles can be conquered in life. In a way, life is all about meeting obstacles and handling them.

The role of parents in understanding the difficulties with their children is also of prime importance. They should refrain from making unreasonable comparisons with other children and focus on understanding the drawbacks in the learning process of their children.  Your child needs your confidence not your comparisons. You don’t have to tell your child that he /she is weak at maths, that he/she already knows, you just tell them what they can do to surmount the problems with math.

Teaching of maths should be in such a way that motivates weak-at-math students not that mauls their self-esteem.


  1. Very well written post 👍
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Thanx Sachin for visiting and commenting.

  3. A well written post.

    1. Thanks Rupali for your visit and comment.