Dr Meenu Sharma is the newly appointed principal of SDP College for Women. With eight research papers in mathematics to her credit,four of them in international journals,she has had a career as a mathematics teacher for over two decades. Dr Sharma,who hails from Amritsar,was earlier a schoolteacher for three years before joining DAV College in Amritsar. A gold medalist in MSc in Mathematics,she has won accolades at various levels. In conversation with Sameer Kumar Sharma,she shares why inter-disciplinary approach towards studies is the need of the hour.
Mathematics is a dreaded subject for many. Why?
It is a lovely subject. Mathematics is as interesting as no other subject. Every problem that you set out to solve is a mystery. It is sheer fun. However,it is up to the teacher to make the subject interesting. But perhaps some teachers do not make the effort so that it comes across as an interesting subject.
Why do you think the subject has a relatively higher number of failures as compared to other subjects?
There are two reasons. One,the subject needs to be taught more seriously by teachers. Second,the students are also at fault. It is a feeding subject for all other subjects and therefore,there is a need to create interest in the students. Besides,mathematics is one subject which requires practice and a lot of practice. It demands time and practice which the students fail to do.
What would you suggest to make it interesting?
The need of the hour is to give a new dimension to our studies. The time has come when we should look at the inter-disciplinary approach towards studies. For example a few years ago,maths and biology were considered to be poles apart and nobody thought there was any link between them. Now,we have a subject called bio-mathematics. That is where the catch lies and that is how we can excel in our endeavour to make studies interesting and applicable. After all,we should also be looking at the job opportunities for students.
What is the scenario in research facilities in our colleges?
There are presently no research centres in colleges. But the National Knowledge Commission has given emphasis on research in its report and the Sixth Pay Commission report has also made provisions for research facilities in colleges. If the report is implemented in its true spirit,it will give an impetus to research work in all the fields.