The recent discovery of “Chekwa Mathematical Games project after years of research by a university Don, Dr. Edward Nwenenda Onwuchekwa is a litmus test on how the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria are collaborating with researchers in our various universities, who carried out thousands research works to solve some of the various nagging problems that are bane to the development of this country, Nigeria.
Chekwa could not be wrong when he decided to go by it alone, practicing his research work on means and ways of solving the mathematical problem that has eaten deep to all spheres of our learning institutions. That he made possible the introduction of over 8 games which are currently on exhibition out of 1500 games that are in his games project. Some of those exhibited in his workshop include: Ayo/stem and leaf games, draught/chess math games, peg an hole games, pun and rope games, athletic math games and swimming math games among others.
The mathematician at the Department of Mathematics, Rivers State University of Science and Technology RSUST has however, said at different fora and exhibition workshops particularly in 2012 and 2013 that the objectives of “Chekwa mathematical games project was to see how traditional Ayo board game can be modified to be used as a springboard to solve some other tasks in mathematics.
To produce and promote “games that teaches and changes or influence in a positive sense, the way we teaches, learn and recreate. The Ayo game is often regarded as mathematical game, providing education and entertainment.
Dr. Chekwa who wondered why mathematics that was enjoyed by pupils at the nursery and primary levels of education could suddenly become a thorn in the flesh at the higher levels of education in the country had gone further to drive home his desire in making the learning and teaching of mathematics a little more easier through the introduction of some technological devices, which include: pen and paper model, marker and board model, physical for board and seeds, and electronic model, using computers, laptops and handsets where Chekwa’s mathematical games could be played.
The project was also designed to cover algebra, trigonometry, linex algebra, calculus, and statistics among others. Little wonder he provided spacious rooms at Chekwa Guest House, Elelenwo in Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State where the already made games are exhibited and some Africanized to provide easy learning and playing environment for nursery, primary, secondary, tertiary and private individuals to come and have comfort that will add value to their day to day lives.
Improving ones skills in graphic arts and textile designs, playing draught and class board to learn mathematics and using other games to learn 2 time tables to 99 times, among others are some of the benefits that await intending visitors to Chekwa’s Mathematical Games Exhibition and Workshop Arena.
The sacrifice of Dr. Chekwa in bringing an end to the problem of solving mathematics by pupils and students in Nigeria is already evident and would be more evident to those, be it government at all levels, schools, corporate organizations and private, individuals that would partner with the Rivers mathematician to understand truly that Chekwa mathematical games project is answer to the difficulties which many pupils and students encounter when they try to learn mathematics.
Hence the provision of a platform aimed at presenting mathematics in a practical and entertaining way, so that players can learn better, faster and retain more of what has been learnt. ###
By Blaise Elumezie