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Globally, scientific calculators are increasingly allowed by students during examination. This was not the case in the early days of mathematics development where students are required to solve every problem mentally. As a result of rapid evolution in science, technology, engineering and and mathematics (STEM), the use of calculators have taken center stage because of their role in helping students solve problems much faster so that they can devote more time into conceptual understanding rather than heuristics.

In addition, calculators now have functions which may be practically difficult for leaners to compute in the limited time that they have. For example, manually computing trigonometric functions may hinder the flow of solving problems on trigonometry at senior secondary level. Usually, examiners expect students to have the skills of using the calculator in such instances as they may loose marks for incomplete exercises even when all indications show it is within their capacity to solve the problems.

The argument over whether students should be allowed to use calculators is fast eroding into history. Today, examination bodies not only allow students to use calculators but go a step further to provide those calculators usually with specific functions. In Nigeria, the Casio fx-82MS 2nd Edition perfectly fits the description of calculators allowed for use in secondary schools

Goodluck Ayadi

Mathematics Teacher | Nigeria, Iba

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