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By Lata Punetha
The Helping Teachers Teach Mathematics and Computing (HTTMC) Conference held in Ghana in January 2023 was a landmark event that brought together secondary school mathematics educators in a hybrid format. This professional development conference was organized by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) as a part of the CEMC’s commitment to provide training opportunities for mathematics educators in Africa. The conference was attended by 71 educators in person and another 237 educators participated online from 16 regions of Ghana and other parts of Africa, representing a diverse group of educators with unique perspectives and experiences.
The conference provided a platform for educators to learn new teaching methods and strategies, share their experiences, and network with their peers. The participants were able to engage in learning sessions led by renowned mathematicians and education experts from Canada and Ghana, exposing them to new ways of teaching and applying modern mathematics. The sessions in the conference included tasks that were directly applicable to daily classroom teaching like problem solving, demystifying equations, virtual coding and robotics, usage of tools like GeoGebra and disrupting the phobia for mathematics through innovative communication of the subject. With a focus on building the capacity of math educators, this conference was a critical step forward in elevating the quality of math education at the secondary school level in Africa.
Magdalene Afriyie Baiden, a participant from the central region of Ghana said,
The HTTMC was an eye-opening experience. It offered me a world of new skills, techniques and technologies that will help improve my teaching and enhance my students' understanding and desire in studying mathematics. It opened the door to diverse teaching methods that I will be implementing. I hope we get to have more of such conferences. Kudos, to the organizers for a job well done.
CEMC’s Dr. Comfort Mintah, a part of the team leading the conference spoke about its purpose,
The aim of this conference was to introduce educators to creative teaching techniques to make mathematics enjoyable for their students. We are happy to see that the conference has helped educators learn from one another and provided a boost to their confidence in mathematical problem solving as they return to their classrooms and try these dynamic and practical ways of teaching.
Samuel Okyere-Siabuoh, a participant at the conference commented,
HTTMC has given me an experience I never had, that is using the available technologies and resources like Clever math, GeoGebra and the like to aid my teaching. It has reminded me of making my classroom more students/learners-centered which would make my classroom more interactive than the teacher-directness I used to do. With these my classroom has become very interesting for my students. Thank you HTTMC.
The conference was a resounding success, with teachers leaving inspired, motivated and equipped with new knowledge and skills that they can implement in their classrooms.