The students were at home with him, as he settled with the Senior Secondary class 2 to take them Mathematics, on Thursday. In his 30 minutes session with the pupils teaching Logarithm, before he took his time off to attend to Daily Trust, it was evident that the pupils had comprehended the subject, as they gleefully responded to the exercise questions provided by him on the board.
Meet Dr. Mukaila Ayinla Kehinde (PhD) Mathematics. A secondary school teacher with doctorate degree in Mathematics is not easy to come by. Many in Kehinde’s shoes would have sought for greener pasture.
“I remain at the secondary level,” Kehinde said. “For now, the mission is to save mathematics. Yes, one is not recognized but one is also not desperate. My background did not even allow for desperation in life. But I derive joy seeing these future leaders hugging me, calling to say they have passed the subject.”
Since his posting to the Owode High School, Owode Egba in Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun state in 2008, the story has changed positively. Mrs. Adebisi Adesina, the school Vice-Principal, confirmed this in a chat with Daily Trust.
Adesina said the approach of teaching Mathematics by Dr. Kehinde has been yielding positive results over the years.
“We cannot thank Dr. more than enough. You see, he is not for this level of teaching, yet, he comes down to the level of his pupils to make mathematics as simple as ABC.
“He is also a very objective man, who does not play sycophancy. If he’s given information, he takes his time to ascertain its credibility; he does not allow his educational attainment to get into his head. Honestly, I cannot figure out why this man is at this level,” Adesina submitted.
For Jekanyinfa Adeleke Johnson, another Vice-Principal who was Kehinde’s classmate at the university, the quest for academic attainments “has been visible right from our university days at Ago Iwoye. His prowess in mathematics is not by accident. He worked assiduously for it.
“I am also aware that his problem solving technique in mathematics is going places. Today, if you don’t apply Dr. Kehinde’s approach to teaching maths, you are just making it impossible for your students to understand and know the subject. The nation needs him, some of us close to him, know that this is not his place, but, the passion is just there and may be economic situation is making him personally not to be interested,” Johnson said.
“Since my SS1 class, he has been teaching us Mathematics. I have been able to learn how to calculate, factorize and solve equations. He takes us like we are in primary class. He’s a hero,” one of his students, Wasiu, remarked.
Another student, Zainab says, “if not for him, I would have been nowhere near passing Mathematics in my exams. I would not know how to work Trigonometric Ratio, among others. I no longer have maths phobia.”
At the staff room, Dr, as he is fondly called, was equally admired and respected by all.
Kehinde said he was not born with a silver spoon. “I was born and bred in poverty. But my poor background never deterred me from attaining my goal. I practically sponsored myself to every stage of my educational attainments. I was born at Onipakala village in Abeokuta. My parents were of blessed memory.
“From primary school at St. Peter primary school, Ake to Macjob School Onikolobo, all these periods, I used to trek to and from school. It was that hard. From there, I attended College of Education, Ijebu-Ode to study Mathematics/Economics, proceeded to the then Ogun State University (OSU) to read Mathematics and then Mathematics Education at the Masters level. I completed my PhD last year.
“I once worked as a store keeper shortly after my secondary education and came back to the company as Administrative Officer after my College of Education training. I joined the teaching service commission in 1992 and since then, I got my first degree, second and third respectively.”
The technique of problem solving strategy in Mathematics, which secondary school maths teachers now use, formed his thesis, titled, “Effects of Polya and Gallagher Problem Solving Models on Senior Secondary School Students’ Learning Outcomes in Mathematics,” which is making waves in schools today.
The Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) will be honoring Kehinde come October 5. The local government chapter of the union, Mr. Sunday Adewale hinted. “It is very rare to see someone with that academic qualification and still teaching in secondary school. So, we want to honour him for this passion and dedication for Mathematics development at this level,” Adewale said.
For Dr. Kehinde, his passion remains to improve the teaching of mathematics and its comprehension by students. “I want to end the annual ritual of failing the subject in WAEC. At least 60-70 % success rate will do for me. And let me appreciate your organization for recognizing me and the readers for nominating me. As I said, you never can tell where breakthrough will come from.”
Culled from Daily Trust