Background to the Study
Science is the foundation on which technological advancement is built. The knowledge of science has brought about discoveries and innovations such as the use of mobile phones, advanced means of transportation and many others that have made the world a global village. Abimbola (2013) opined that science is better defined and described using the three components of science which are science products such as concepts; science process such as methods of science and science ethics or motives.
The essentiality of science, according to Augustine (2013), was defined as a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of the world and since the world is turning scientific, nations of the world are not relenting on their efforts to improve technology wise. This brings about science education which Aina (2013) opined was the sharing of science content and process with individuals who are not traditionally considered to be members of the scientific community. Holbrook (2011) opined that science education has to do with teaching of science in schools so students can become scientists, gain factual knowledge and skills and also to be able to manipulate scientific equipment. Therefore science education can simply be said to be the transfer of scientific knowledge, methods and skills.
According to FRN (2013), General Mathematics, physics, chemistry and Biology are core subjects in the science field of study at the senior secondary level of education, but general mathematics still stands out as a basic requirement for further studies and learning in any science oriented field of study because it is the language of science itself in entirety (Abimbola, 2013), and being the language of science, mathematics take a significant position in all the other science subjects making mathematics the prime instrument of science and placing mathematics above other science and even the social sciences fields such as Economics and Accounting.
Boaler (2008) viewed mathematics as a human activity and a set of methods used to illuminate the world. Kalhotra (2013) was of the opinion that mathematics is a science of digits and numbers as well as an art of computing. Akanni (2015) also defined mathematics as a field of symbolic
representation of ideas, relations and an instrument for effecting a logical examination for the implementation of different ideas. The literal meaning of mathematics is things which can be counted and counting plays vital role in our daily life according to Laure (2008).
According to Kalhotra (2013), mathematics is one of the most important subjects which act as a bridge to all knowledge. This was amplified by FRN 6th edition (2013) in which mathematics was clearly stated as a necessary requirement for any science and other fields of study such as the engineering, health sciences (Medicine, nursing and optometry), and the social sciences (communication, economics and geography). Mathematics is also applicable in our day to day activities such as cooking, driving, savings and credit, buying and selling (Laure, 2008). Mathematics is one of few subjects that have the potential to range across practical value, disciplinary value and cultural value that the school system tries to impact in its learners (Philipp, 2013).