Elaine (2013) describe mathematics as a science that deal with the logical of shape, quantity and arrangement. He also state that Mathematics is a powerful means in a technology-oriented and information-rich society to help students acquire the ability to communicate, explore, conjecture, reason logically and solve problems using a variety of methods. At the senior secondary phase, mathematics curriculum is aimed to develop learners’ ability to think critically and to solve problem in daily life using mathematics, with regard of meting 21 century challenges, therefore “The Kenyan government has underscored the importance of Mathematics literacy in educational institutions. Having recognized the role of Mathematics in national development, the Kenyan government has made Mathematics compulsory in primary and secondary schools under the 8:4:4 system of education. As such, students? performance in Mathematics and Sciences is of great concern to education stakeholders” (Kenya National Examination Council, 2001, as cited in Alice, 2015).
In Namibia Mathematics had been a compulsory subject as form grade 1 up to 10 before 2012 therefore MOE had also introduce compulsory mathematics at Senior Secondary phase (grade 11 and 12) for the best interest of learners and the nation at large. The New Era’s article titled “Mathematics a promotional subject and essential” (Paulus, 2013 p.4) attest to this. According to Angula (2015) in his study had state that in Grade 11 and 12, subjects had been grouped in four different fields of study, namely: the Natural Science and Mathematics (Mathematics, Biology and Physical Science), the Commerce (Accounting, Economics and Business Studies), Technical (Design and Technology, Physical Science and Mathematics) and the Social Sciences (History, Development Studies and Geography) but only two of these flied of study in Namibia that had mathematic as a compulsory subjects namely: the Natural Science and Mathematics field and the Technical field had Mathematics. Learners from the other fields (Commerce and Social Sciences ) had a choice to either take Mathematics or any other subject of their choice as an additional subject to their field of study (Ministry of Education, 2010).
The Ministry of Education (MoE) (2010) noted that mathematics is the key to success in this world where the economy requires workers who are prepared to absorb new ideas, to perceive patterns and to solve unconventional problems. It’s against this background that the researcher decided to conduct the study to find out what are the opinions teachers had regarding the introduction of mathematics as a compulsory subject at senior secondary phase.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Mathematics is one of the key subjects examined at all levels of education in Namibia. The subject is very important for all careers of business, science and technology, The Ministry of Education made mathematics a compulsory subject in grade 11 and 12 for the development of science, technology and commerce as from 2012 (MOE 2010). According to ( Nico, 2012) has stated that some teachers questioned the ministry’s decision saying that they only expect more disaster in school results while TUN support the ministry’s decision, provided that two type of mathematics are introduced in the curriculum, namely applied and pure mathematics. Regarding this implementation it brought some confusion among teachers at senior secondary level and this made the researcher to recognise that mathematics teachers have different views regarding this implementation of curriculum. The researcher also realise that there are lot of challenges faced by mathematics teachers when teaching this compulsory subject. During TP at Oshiwa secondary school (pseudonym) the researcher observed that not all teachers are happy with the implementation and this raised the researcher’s nosiness to explore the teacher’s opinions about the implementation of compulsory mathematics curriculum at Senior Secondary phase.
1.3 Research questions
The study will addressed the following questions:
1. What are the grade 11 and 12 mathematics teachers opinions regarding the introduction of compulsory mathematics curriculum in Oshana region?
2. What are the challenges experience by mathematics teachers in the teaching of compulsory mathematics curriculum?
1.4 Significance of the study
The aim of the study is to explore the opinions of mathematics teachers regarding the introduction of compulsory mathematics curriculum at Senior Secondary phase. This study can be useful to the NIED, as it might be used as a guide to govern if the introduction of CM at grade 11 and 12 is a challenge to mathematics teachers and make use of this study if there are some changes to be made.
1.5 Limitation of the study
One of the limitations the researcher might face is that not all the teachers that will be included in the study to be interviewed in English but it might be most of the teachers do prefer to be interviewed in Oshiwambo, as they will feel that they could express themselves much way better in Oshiwambo, However the fact remains that English is the official language in schools, the researcher will interview them in English. Another limitation is that not all participants will return the questionnaires while some will not be interested in answering the questionnaires and they will tear them up. This will result in some information to be lost.
1.6 Delimitation of the study
The study will be limited to the grade 11 and 12 mathematics teachers in the 2 selected schools in Oshana region. It will also be limited to the grade 11 and 12 mathematics teacher’s opinions regarding the introduction of the compulsory mathematics curriculum in the Oshana region. The grade 11 and 12 mathematics teachers will be the ones that are mostly affected by the change of the curriculum and hence it will be of the importance to hear from their opinions regarding the introduction of compulsory mathematics to seek for ways to amend.
1.7 Definition of term
• Amend: to make minor change to (text, piece of legislation) in order to make it fairer or more accurate.
• Curriculum: in this study, ‘curriculum’ is defined as the official policy for teaching, learning, and assessment and gives direction to planning, organising and implementing teaching and learning in schools.
• Opinion: In this research, opinion is understood to mean the feelings, thoughts and views or ideas that the teachers perceive and acknowledge in the introduction of compulsory mathematics.
• Govern: to officially control and direct the public business of the country, city, and group of people.
• Mathematics: in this study, mathematics refers to the study of numbers quantities or shapes.
• Implementation: in this study, implementation takes place when the teacher and the curriculum materials interact with the learner.