Feature: Inspirational tutor who has formula to deal with maths phobia
PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 March 2013
The secret to success in maths is hard work, encouragement and treating all students as individuals.
That’s according to Pastor Gbola Bright and you only have to look closer to home to realise that he knows what he is talking about.
His son, Joshua Bright, made headlines in the Romford Recorder in 2009 when he achieved a first class honours degree at just 17.
Pastor Bright, 54, believes that more students would also be able to achieve similar success in maths, if they could overcome their fear of the subject.
He said: “The problem for most students is that they have developed a phobia of the subject because they have had no one there to encourage them.
“We believe that every child has the potential to do well in maths. We are always positive and optimistic and we look at our students’ strengths and not their weaknesses.”
After helping all three of his children to achieve academic success, Pastor Bright has now turned his hands to the rest of the children in the borough.
And he is setting out to do this with his free maths tuition classes.
The father-of-three started offering the classes to youngsters, aged seven to 15, in July last year to mark the opening of the new Redeemed Christian Church of God at the new Myplace Centre.
As well as helping youngsters to improve in maths, he says it was also about giving something back to the community.
He said: “I think Harold Hill is a beautiful place. But one of the challenges is the increasing number of youths and we have to get them involved.
“My approach is to crack them young so that they have a solid foundation.”
Now six months on, Pastor Bright has helped more than 60 children to get to grips with their fear of maths and he has a waiting list of more wanting his help.
The classes are run by the Pastor and his wife, Sade, and a team of 30 volunteers.
It has been so successful that he is now thinking of expanding his free tuition classes into Harold Wood.
No one knows how important maths is than Pastor Bright.
“It is a core subject in the curriculum and even if you want to be a lawyer it is a requirement. Any profession that you do, it is important that you have a strong foundation in maths because it is very important.”
His passion for the subject started at a young age and for him it is still as strong as ever.
He said: “For me maths is a big passion and I really enjoy doing it. Teaching students and helping them to overcome their fear of the subject also gives me a greater sense of appreciation for the subject.”
Ten years ago, Pastor Bright made the decision to quit his job as a maths teacher in a school to set up the Bright Academy, a private tuition centre based in Elm Park Library.
It was a hard decision, but one that he says he doesn’t regret as he has helped hundreds of children, some as young as eight to reach their full potential in the subject.
He said: “The young ones are the future and we have to make sure that they have a good quality of life, and we have to enhance their future by giving them a solid foundation.
“One of the parents in Harold Hill recently told me that the church is the best thing to happen in the area.
“She is illiterate but she wants her children to succeed and she feels that we are giving her children a chance in life.”
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