Not many students fancy Mathematics because of its perceived complexity but a young woman, Cynthia Adaeze Bryte-Chinule is simplifying it for underprivileged and drop out kids in Rivers State.
Cynthia is ensuring that children who are denied access to education because of poverty, understand mathematics, and she is doing this by teaching them in Pidgin and Igbo language.
A first-class mathematics graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Cynthia is the founder of Productive Education and Effective Leadership Initiative, a non-profit organization with the mission to empower and provide quality education, to develop leadership potentials and to meet the human needs of youths around the world.
She runs free tutoring programmes for her students, most of whom do not understand English language. On Saturdays, she teaches over 40 kids. On Thursdays, she teaches children in the Port Harcourt Remand Home.
Cynthia resorted to teaching in pidgin and Igbo because she feels that English language was a hindrance and she wanted Mathematics to be interesting and relatable.
So, in trying to find the sum of 5+7, she would say, “If you carry 5 yam join am with another seven yam, how many yam you go get?” Infact, young people who are not familiar with their indigenous language learn from the short videos she makes online.
Cynthia believes local languages have a great role to play in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects in Nigeria. She also notes that employing local language in teaching STEM subjects will make it more accepted.
Through her PEEL Initiative, Cynthia aims to reduce the rate of failure in Mathematics in Africa to zero; empower the less privileged and at-risk youths by providing scholarship and advocating that youths learn relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
She also aims to provide infrastructural support for dilapidated schools, to foster capacity building in school teachers, to promote STEM education and other Sustainable development goals for Quality Education).