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Mathematics proficiency is becoming an important issue in contemporary education in the light of declining quality of instruction in the elementary and secondary education levels in the Philippines. Many students hate mathematics subject. On the other hand, there are also teachers who are handling mathematics subjects but who are not majors in the subject matter. These twin problems result to poor performance of our students.

Rather than becoming silent, Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) under the leadership of the present University President, Dr. Nestor M. De Vera, opted to confront these problems through its College of Teacher Education (CTE). Its not only attempting to solve these problems but also training our future mathematics teachers and future tutors by exposing our pre-service student teachers and helping them acquire the necessary experiences in providing assistance to students who are weak in the subject or those who are disinterested in the subject.

In general, this project provides CTE an avenue for the immersion of mathematics education students in community based learning and at the same time extending services to pupils and students in elementary and secondary education levels, respectively, according to a report to the CTE Dean, Dr. Zorayda P. Serrano, who is actively supporting the implementation of the project. Specifically, the project provides timely and relevant activities in the subject, extend expertise and resources related to enhancing proficiency in mathematics through student teachers, and design training for specific content areas of mathematics instruction

The project concept entails bringing and immersing third and fourth year students in an actual elementary school setting, particularly in Antonio Adricula Sr. Memorial Elementary School (AASMES) in Siniloan, Laguna to assist pupils who are below average and slow learners in mathematics while the faculty members serve as consultants during the delivery of mathematics proficiency enhancing activities. Prior to activity implementation, the student teachers serving as facilitators determined the level of competencies of the pupils through an assessment test and the results of which became the basis of a remediation program. In general, some of the activities include pre-test, post-test, practical exams, and tutorial lectures.

The role of the faculty members spearheaded by Mrs. Arlen G. Advento Instructor and Project Leader of “Matematika Alalay Tungo Sa Hamon ng Buhay”,(MATH Buhay) goes beyond providing assistance to student teachers to include assessing the performance of their students if they are already competent in delivering the necessary instructional services expected of a teacher in mathematics.

Initially, the first visit of four CTE mathematics faculty members to explore the possibility of having the school as recipient of the project was on 08 August 2014. In this initial visit, there was in general a positive response of the school as indicated during the discussion about the project concept and implementing strategy. It was then jointly decided that the school would determine the pupils who would undergo skills enrichment program in mathematics. According to the Principal of AASMES, Mrs. Natalia Agapay, all pupils from different levels who are below average participate in the present project being undertaken by LSPU-CTE mentors. It was also agreed that the activities of the project have to commence on 15 August 2014 at 1:30 – 2:30 pm every Friday of the week.

During the second visit on 15 August 2014, ten mathematics student teachers who are in the third and fourth year levels of the Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSE) program are assisted by seven CTE faculty members during the project orientation, launching, and assessment of pupils.

Today, there are more than 50 pupils from various levels who are participating in the present mathematics proficiency enhancement project. While an overall assessment is yet to be scheduled, comments from a number of AASMES teachers as well as the participating pupils and the LSPU student teachers are all positive which indicate promise of increasing math proficiency among elementary pupils through this initiative.

By: Rogacion U. Villanueva& Carlos J. Andam