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Paper Details: An Assessment Of The Sufficiency Of Mathematics Syllabus D In Preparing Learners Intending To Major In Mathematics Related Courses At University

Volume 3 - Issue 10, October 2019 Edition
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Kebby Simoongwe, Patrick Azere Phiri
Adequacy and Relevance of a Syllabus, Essential skills, Preparation of Mathematics majors, Sufficiency of Mathematics Syllabus D
First year students enter university with low levels of mathematical competencies. There is insurmountable evidence indicating that some mathematics syllabi are not adequate. This shows seriously rippling effects for students wishing to pursue studies involving problem solving. This study aimed at investigating the sufficiency of Mathematics Syllabus D (4024) in preparing learners intending to major in mathematics related courses. The study further aimed at providing explanations for the rampant drop out of mathematics students. It also tried to find ways and means of finding solutions to the scourge. The study followed a primary data analysis and adopted an integral qualitative-quantitative approach. The research question was sub divided into two specific questions and two research hypotheses. The research targeted all the universities offering mathematics in Zambia. However, only two public universities in Kitwe district of Copperbelt province of Zambia were considered. A survey questionnaire was used for data collection. During data collection: students indicated their final grades in Syllabus D and their results from the first year sessional examinations; a 5-Point Likert Scale was completed, and an open ended question on the relevance and adequacy of the syllabus was answered. Data collected was analysed descriptively and inferentially. Chi Square methods were used to analyse quantitative data at 0.05, level of significance. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was also used. The Qualitative Data Analysis software (QDA miner Lite) was also used. The main finding was that a student’s performance at university in Mathematics differs significantly from his/her performance in Ordinary Level Mathematics. It was also established that a student’s performance in First Year University Mathematics is independent of his/her performance in Syllabus D. Furthermore, results indicated that the syllabus enhanced critical thinking and conceptual understanding. However, participants indicated that the syllabus was inadequate and needed more topics.
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