The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is a worldwide celebration. Each year on 14 March all countries are invited to participate through activities for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces.
The 14th March was chosen as the date for IDM because it was already celebrated in many countries as Pi Day, based on the fact that some countries write it as 3/14 and the mathematical constant Pi is approximately 3.14.
Dr Maba Matadi who is the Head of UNIZULU’s Department of Mathematics shared that this year’s IDM theme was “Mathematics for a Better World”.
“Mathematics is an important subject because it is used to model real world problems. Without mathematics, we would not have airplanes, computers, phones, cars, etc. Mathematics is present in our daily lives, and is a key component of science in understanding the universe we live in,” explained Dr Matadi.
As a common language to the planet, mathematics is an essential part of humankind’s cultural heritage. It is present in arts, music, and games, for human enjoyment and well-being.
Furthermore, Dr Matadi elaborated that learners in South Africa tend not to do well in mathematics in comparison to other countries around the globe for a variety of reasons, some of which are lack of proper and qualified teachers who can motivate learners and change the attitude of learners towards maths, as they perceive it as a difficult subject and have lack of understanding of the importance of maths. South African science and maths remains poor due to socio-economic backgrounds and spatial location.
– Precious Shamase