**Introduction**

By definition, math phobia is a type of an anxiety disorder, which causes debilitating fear towards mathematics as a subject in high school. Consequently, math has turned to become the most feared subject by students in many institutions. In fact, while the problem is individual in nature, the phobia translates to become a uniquely universal issue. Nevertheless, comparatively little effort has been committed collaboratively to address the widespread menace, especially in the high schools. The phobia can have far-reaching and serious consequences as shown by research studies. One could however be interested in understanding what causes mathematical phobia among the students in high schools. Similarly, it could be interesting to know what could be done to help the struggling students to embrace and appreciate the basics of mathematics. Finally, although one could easily appreciate that the teachers has the critical role in supporting the struggling students to understand mathematical concepts, there is little efforts demonstrated by the teachers in the most practical and appropriate ways that should be used to inhibit mathematic phobia. Consequently, this section presents a qualitative discussion and analysis of literature on the subject of math phobia among the high school students and the presentation of the implications of the findings to practice.

Different scholars have written on the subject of math phobia and highlighted different factors associated with the problem. Firstly, parents are blamed as they have inadequate competence in the subject; hence, they are not able to help the children while studying (Awasthi, Imam, & Singh, 2016). In fact, when the parents refer negative sentiments on the subject continually to the students, then it works to increase their fears. Secondly, some students fear failing, getting wrong answers, and being ridiculed by their peers or teachers and, therefore, avoid the subject at all cost. As a result, just as is the case with many other kinds of fear, the math phobia can be easily overcome by the strategic dedication of the teachers while the parents avoid the negative sentiments (Mutodi & Ngirande, 2014). Various studies as outlined below recommend the multi-agency approach to the management of student fear on Math.

Literature Review

**Teacher Supporting Struggling Student**

DeWitt noted that even though unaware of the outcome, teachers approach towards mathematics might be contributing on how students view mathematics. In fact, the author indicates that teachers might be unknowingly encouraging mathematics phobia instead of inspiring learners on how to overcome the fear (2012). The students need to be informed that math is a critical subject, which is widely applied in the day-to-day life even outside school (DeWitt, 2012). Such an affirmation could work to boost the interests of the students towards the subject. In fact, if the tutors were to embrace different methods of approaching the subject, then the student could appreciate it, not only as a testable concept but also as a lifetime skill for solving daily challenges. While the high school student could be interested in correctly solving mathematical challenges and coming up with the right answers, the approach could be discouraging whenever the answer is not forthcoming. On the contrary, the learning curricula and the efforts of the teaching staff should focus on having the student master the art of arriving at the answer as against the response (DeWitt, 2012). Teachers should note that frequent tests and intimidating environments of learning could be blamed highly for causing the phobia in the students. Therefore, if the teachers were to aid in students’ development of a positive attitude and overcome the phobia, then their roles should be focused more on a relationship as against the competition. Accordingly, the understanding could foster the capacity of the teachers to help the students overcome math phobia.

Teresa Fisher conducted a survey among students in the junior high schools and identified that among the most disliked subjects was mathematics. Besides the findings from the survey, students recorded a poor attitude towards mathematics assignments and interaction with the respective teachers (Fisher, 2014). In fact, many of the respondents confirmed cramming concepts instead of understanding them with the aim of only passing the test. The study by Fisher noted that during the elementary levels of learning, many students demonstrated their love for math but the attitude gradually changed. In fact, by the time the student reaches the senior high school, the probability of abhorring and fearing the subject increases. The explanation provided was based on the experience with the past syllabus and the cumulative nature of the concepts.

Unlike other subjects, mathematics requires that the concepts learned earlier should be engaged in the future and often in a higher capacity. Therefore, when a student experiences any difficulty in the process of learning mathematics in the lower levels of study, the aspect contributes to the development of the poor attitude and subsequent fear of the subject (Fisher, 2014). The study also appreciated the role of mathematics in influencing the performance of other subjects in the high school curriculum. The interconnectedness of the high school curriculum subjects as identified highlights the essence of a positive perception towards mathematics. Fisher highlights various mechanisms by which teachers can help the students to overcome the problem of math phobia. For instance, the use of cooperative math solving strategies, increasing the time allocated for revision, and the adoption of teaching aids could foster the level of student understanding. Moreover, the strategy of involving the students in the learning process, otherwise regarded as active participation raises the capacity of the students to grasp the concepts (Fisher, 2014). Improved understanding of the math concepts on the other hand facilitates the process of reducing math phobia for the students. However, the teaching staff must ensure that the active participation does not contribute to public embarrassment as such could lower the level of esteem and contribute to the buildup of the mathematics phobia.

Ewart (2015) wrote the article on the role of teachers in helping the students suffering from the fear of math. According to the author, the phobia of mathematics can translate into undesirable anxiety for the students. However, the paper confirms that the teaching staff faces a myriad of challenges while delivering mathematical lectures to students. The lack of supportive resources and the poor student attitude towards math ranks highest in influencing the effectiveness of the teachers. In fact, when students experience math phobia, Newton confirms that they can easily illustrate anxiety, behavioral issues, as well as the reduction in the level of involvement. Consequently, the effects of the phobia are together with poor performance in the subject for the student and the general difficulties for the teaching staff to deliver. Accordingly, the teachers face the daunting task of helping the students to overcome the challenge of fear towards mathematics as a subject (Newton, 2015). Therefore, the author highlights various recommendations on best practices to guide the students overcome the intimidating fear. First, the teachers are expected to build the confidence of the learners. The loss of self-assurance could have resulted from experiences and negative attitudes and therefore, through confidence-building exercises, the teachers could succeed in lowering the anxiety levels in the students. Second, the teachers could approach the challenge through strengthening the learners’ basic arithmetic skills. For example, teachers could work through frequent tests and math challenges to improve the mastery of basic math concepts through practice. Third, a systematic approach could be used to overcome the phobia that results from overwhelming the student with much information and less time for conceptualizing. Therefore, the teachers should deliver the concepts in bits to allow room for understanding and practice. Fourth, by encouraging a growth mindset for the students, the teachers could succeed in motivating the students for the math subject. Finally, the attitude of the teaching staff towards the students and the concepts being taught could be confirmed to influence the students into loving or fearing the subject. Therefore, the article recommended that the teachers appreciate the mathematical concepts before delivering to the students. In fact, the students could be more likely to appreciate the mathematical concepts as much as the teachers appreciate them.

According to Curtain-Phillips (2015), students often develop the feelings of tension and fear towards certain subjects. In particular, mathematics causes the feeling and the affected students find it difficult to comprehend and tackle the subject. When the students’ self-confidence is affected, then a fear may develop and lead to the extremity, which is regarded as a mathematic phobia. The causes of the phobia have been the pressure associated with timed mathematical tests as well as the associated risk of public embarrassment. Furthermore, the article confirms that there are classroom factors that contribute to the development of math phobia by the students. For example, the traditional math classroom exposed students to more authority, tight deadlines, and public exposure. The effects of such an environment were to cause panic to the students and at times the loss of self-confidence (Curtain-Phillips, 2015). The result is the uncontrolled fear of the subject and the ultimate poor performance by the student. In other studies referred in the article, students learn best in an active environment rather than in a passive class. The active participation of the learners enables them to develop different strategies of conceptualizing the concepts. In fact, the study confirms that the modern day learning environment requires a practical approach as against the mere learning of procedures and rules.

Often, the past frustrations and negative experiences in the lower levels of learning math could explain the reduced levels of understanding at the high school level. In other instances, the parents and guardians could also play a role in promoting the negative attitude of the students. For instance, when parents share negative perceptions associated with bills presented in numerals, then the learners could fear the association with the calculation. On the contrary, the parents and guardians could paint a positive element of the subject and engage the subject with humor to facilitate a change in attitude for the students. Again, the teachers have the most direct influence and can easily create a positive attitude in the students (Curtain-Phillips, 2015). For instance, Curtain-Phillips notes that the students could be organized into learning groups where the peers help each other to understand the concepts.

In 2015, Olaniyan and Salman conducted a study to establish the possible causes of math phobia among the students from senior schools. The study was justified by the empirical evidence that the extreme fear of mathematics contributes to poor performance by the students. The study was, therefore, broad in perspective and evaluated the causes of the phobia from the student-related factors and from the dynamics associated with the teachers. Accordingly, the study involved both student and teacher respondents in the research. A total of 238 students and 25 teachers were randomly selected from the larger population (Olaniyan, & Salman, 2015). Structured questionnaires in the pro forma were used in the process of data collection. The analysis of the data collected was conducted through the SPSS. Through the software, the study established the mean and frequencies of distribution for ease of interpretation of the findings. The study established that fearing students could be identified with feverish behavior while in math class. Besides, the students had great difficulty in understanding even the simplest of the mathematical concepts being studied. The explaining factors as established by the study were the poor relations between the teaching staff and the students as well as the non-conducive learning environment in classrooms. However, inadequate time slotted for the math lecture affected the understanding of the students who could ultimately face hardships in understanding the concepts taught. The students also recorded a subjective perception of the nature of mathematics as being difficult and challenging to comprehend. Other factors that featured were the unsuitability of the teachers to deliver the mathematical concepts and the incapacity for teachers to solve mathematical problems. The result of such factors was the increased fear of studying mathematics even at the senior levels of study (Olaniyan & Salman, 2015).

Consequently, the study confirmed that by implication, the fear of the subject contributed to the poor performance by the students in the senior high schools of the region. Accordingly, the study recommended the commitment of all stakeholders towards improving the learning environment as a factor to reduce the fear and anxiety by the mathematics students. However, at an advanced level, the teachers should be able to identify the levels of phobia among the students and develop customized instruments to help the learners overcome the fear. Again, the school management should endeavor to recruit competent teachers to handle the mathematic subject for ease and effectiveness of content delivery.

**Mathematical Concept**

Unlike many other subjects that may not rely on the concepts learned in the past, the mathematics subject builds on the elements learned previously. Accordingly, any negative experience met in the lower learning levels has been widely attributed to affect the attitude and confidence of the students towards mathematics. Lodaya’s article indicated that the fear to sit in a math session among the high school students could be illustrated by low levels of concentration, disengagement with the subject and at times, students arriving for the sessions panting. However, the primary focus of the paper was to show that besides the students, the mathematics teachers also suffer from the phobia. In a quoted study, from a survey that involved about 700 elementary school teachers, 38% of the population confirmed having the math anxiety even while teaching (Lodaya, 2013). The effect of such fears with the teachers easily passes to the students and contributes to the student phobia. For example, when the teachers focus on their fears, then they concentrate exclusively on rules, which then instill fear into the learners. In fact, many students suffering from the phobia attribute the challenge to some of the teachers encountered in the process of learning. The challenge is particularly real to the math students because the higher levels of learning require the buildup of the basic concepts learned elsewhere in the course of schooling. Consequently, the article confirmed that the teachers were primarily responsible for guiding the learners towards developing a positive attitude towards mathematics and hence overcoming the phobia.

The article by Krisch (2015) confirms that unlike the common perception that high school students hate mathematical concepts like the calculus, many students suffer from an actual phobia to the mathematics subject. Accordingly, the author argued that the teachers are expected to detect and provide the students suffering from the phobia with the support required to overcome the challenge. Krisch (2015) explained the study done at Stanford University where the researchers scanned the brains of high school students who were sitting for a mathematics exam. In this case, the researchers used functional and structural MRI and the tests revealed the legitimate fear that some of the students shown. The findings informed the setting up of one-on-one cognitive tutoring sessions for the students aimed at reducing the fear and teaching the mathematical concepts. After taking the students on the program for eight weeks, a repeat of the scan indicated great improvement of the students in overcoming the fear for arithmetic concepts.

Therefore, the study established that the cognitive tutoring could improve the students’ understanding of basic concepts as well as lower the associated fear and anxiety. The study also confirmed that the math phobia is a legitimate fear that registers in the minds of the students and which pose a serious threat especially to their academic performance. However, as the article indicates, the phobia can be faced and possibly cured when conceptual understanding of mathematics is improved.

In Singapore, mathematics is perceived as a critical subject and is thus highly esteemed at all levels of learning. In fact, as early as in the primary education, mathematics becomes an influencing subject towards the performance of a student and the eligibility of the person to enroll in institutions of higher learning. The society also places a higher emphasis on the performance of the subject and hence, the student faces the pressure to deliver to the expectations of the society in the subject. Subsequently, the majority of the students approach the subject more apprehensively, and that contributes to the high levels of anxiety and phobia shown. In research to investigate the general subject of fear in the high schools, Keow (2012) focused on the Singapore system as a representation of the Asian education system. The study engaged 294 secondary school students through surveys and interviews. The analysis focused on the anxiety levels of the students and the influence of the same on the overall student performance. Through the questionnaires, the researcher established the level of anxiety and the possible reasons for the anxiety among the respondents. Besides, the interviews also confirmed the existence of relatively high levels of fear for mathematics among the students. The semi-structured interviews focused on the emotions and perceptions held by the most anxious students. The overall anxiety level among the students was ranked at 44% and a strong negative correlation between the anxiety and performance established. From the study, various causes of the math phobia among the students were established.

Firstly, the study established that many of the students suffered high levels of fear towards the subject during the tests and examinations. Secondly, a considerable number of respondents indicated the high level of anxiety to be self-induced. Accordingly, the self-blame was explained by the inability to solve problems hence the associated fear. Another factor that was shown to influence the rates of fear was the nature of mathematics with the majority of victims suffering from the abstract topics covered in the syllabus. Similarly, the negative experiences of the students could influence their perception of the subject. For example, the study recorded responses of students who develop negative attitudes and fear from past failures. Finally, the study established that the learning environment, the parental influence as well as the teachers influence contributed to the high levels of fear developed by the students. Therefore, the study was effective in establishing the primary causes of the persistent and high levels of math phobia among the high school students.

Another research focused on the effects of mathematic phobia in high schools in the country as well as how the fear could affect the country in realization of vision by 2020. First the article explains the commitment of Nigeria as a nation to become one of the industrialized nations by 2020 (Gbolagade, Waheed, & Sangoniyi, 2013). However, among other challenges that the country must face is the rampant rise of poor performance on the mathematics in the schools. The author appreciates that numeracy and qualitative arithmetic are critical pillars for industrialization of any country. Therefore, any challenge that students face in developing the competence and skills in mathematics has the potential to inhibit the country towards the achievement of the goal. In addition, the study focused on the factors that contribute to the phobia of mathematics in the high schools. In essence, the study was conducted in Oyo state and involved the participation of 450 randomly selected students from the high school level. A well-designed questionnaire was used in the collection of the data required. Consequently, the data collected was organized in tables and then analyzed qualitatively. The study confirmed the influence of various factors towards the increased phobia among the students (Gbolagade, Waheed, & Sangoniyi, 2013). First, the students recorded strictness of the math teachers as a cause of their fear. Others accused absenteeism of the teachers as one of their challenges in understanding the concepts and hence the resulting phobia. At times, the teachers could be blamed on laziness as well as lacking the appropriate instructional materials, which affected the respective delivery competence. Poor government policies and their implementation increased anxiety for many students as derived from the responses provided. Finally, a wide mathematical curriculum and lack of supportive services such as fully equipped ICT and mathematics lab in the schools made the learning challenging and hence the reported fear of the subject.

**Multicultural Math Classrooms**

In a study conducted by Yahya and Fasasi in Nigeria, the study focused on identifying the causes of the pathological math phobia among the high school students in Adamawa State (2012). Second, the study was intended to establish effective strategies that could be used in addressing the pathological challenge of fear among the students. A total of 250 senior secondary school students were involved in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from the sampled students. Worth appreciating is that a stratified random sampling technique was used in selecting the participating students from the different zones in the state. The mean, t-test, and the standard deviation statistics were utilized in the study. From the results, the math phobia was caused by the parental indoctrination that math is difficult, the teacher factor, as well as the abstract nature of mathematics. The study suggested various methods that could be useful in addressing the challenge among the students. For instance, the use of heuristic teaching methods and the use of mathematical games could be most effective in helping the students avoid and overcome the fear. Moreover, the problem of math phobia could be addressed by the use of appropriate induction techniques. The paper also recommended that parents should avoid indoctrinating the students that mathematics is hard and stressful (Yahya & Fasasi, 2012). Similarly, the teachers need to keep off negative comments and sharing unfavorable experiences with the students to prevent the possible change of attitude by the students.

Another study by Ural in 2015 investigated the mathematics fear by high school students based on predefined variables. Although the study focused on various factors, including the influence of culture, one of the aims was to establish whether the fear differed depending on the gender, parental education, subject matters, and the competence of the teachers. Similarly, the study evaluated whether other factors besides the grades acquired by the high school students in mathematics influenced the purported fear. Sixty high school students from the Burdur province in Turkey were involved (Ural, 2015). A demographic form was utilized in the process of data collection to gather the information regarding the variables outlined. The analysis of the data collected involved ANOVA, the t-test, and the mean. The outcome indicated a significant correlation between the phobia and other factors except for the gender variable. However, the grades achieved in the subject confirmed the most influence of the math phobia recorded by the students. The other elements that were shown to influence the level of math phobia exhibited by high school students were the level of study, the parental education level, as well as the influence of the teachers. Besides, the study confirmed that it was more common for students to experience anxiety in the academic settings. Moreover, depending on the scale of fear, the explaining factors may be associated understanding mathematics or being successful on the subject. Therefore, they recommended the commitment of the parents and the teaching staffs towards assisting the students overcome the fear and where possible to prevent the development of the fear. Similarly, other factors like the curriculum development should be focused on the students’ needs as against the ease of teacher delivery.

The study by Kumar and Karimi conducted in 2010 evaluated the association of the student anxiety towards mathematics as a subject and the respective performance in a multicultural classroom. By definition, the anxiety was defined as the fear and tension exhibited by students when studying and tackling the mathematic exams. However, the study utilized the mathematic anxiety scores as defined by the MARS scale. The anxiety was illustrated to result from the fear and low self-esteem of the students towards studying mathematics. Whenever the students develop such a phobia, it affects their ability to understand new math concepts and to retrieve the concepts previously learned. The study conducted a random sampling to identify 424 high school students to participate in research. Moreover, the sampling technique was used to identify the twelve high schools from the adjacent three states in India. The correlation between the MARS scores recorded was established and informed conclusions drawn. The findings confirmed the hypothesis that the anxiety shown by students in regard to mathematics in the high schools affected the performance in the particular subject and also in the overall academic scores by the students (Karimi & Venkatesan, 2009). On the contrary, the students who recorded low scores in the anxiety levels had higher scores in mathematics and in other subjects.

Another study focused on the association of math phobia and the variables of parental education and gender. At the onset, the study proposed and confirmed two variables that could explain the tendency of occurrence of math phobia among the high school students (Srivastava, Imam, & Singh, 2016). These variables identified included the gender of the students and the level of education of the respective parents. The study involved 1000 students from secondary schools who were analyzed through the mathematics anxiety scale scores. Besides, the subjective background information was sought through a structured question. The analysis of the data involved the computation of the means, standard deviation, the t-test, as well as the f-test. The findings confirmed the existence of differences in the math anxiety levels between the male and the female students. Specifically, the scores were higher in the female students than in the male ones showing that the males had relatively lower levels of mathematic phobia. The anxiety levels varied concerning parental education with the scores being higher for the parents with low level of education. Therefore, the study was useful in confirming the existence of the math phobia phenomena in high schools. Furthermore, the study explained different aspects that affected the levels of the anxiety and; therefore, present possible ways by which the challenge could be addressed (Srivastava, Imam, & Singh, 2016). Overall, the challenge depended on the parents and the gender of the students and hence, mitigation depended on efforts directed towards the two variables.

The effect of the math phobia phenomena among students in the middle and high school towards the performance in the Mathematics subject was evaluated by the study by Al Mutawah (2015). The study appreciated the devoted attention of researchers towards the subject of math phobia in the recent past. Although the studies had been extensive, none of such studies focused on the situation in Bahrain. Accordingly, Al Mutawah’s study focused on the variables affecting the performance of mathematics in Bahrain, which ranks low in the international scores in the subject. First, the researcher confirmed that math in the country is a dreaded subject and which causes much attention and fear to students at nearly all levels of education. The importance of studying the phenomena could be confirmed by the devoted efforts of the government to make curriculum changes in mathematics across all levels of education. It is worth noting that the secondary education in the country takes three years. After sampling the participants, the researcher used an R-MANX Survey to collect the data from the students. Fourteen schools participated in the survey, and 1351 students filled the surveys. The mean and standard deviation scores were evaluated through statistical procedures. Overall, the study confirmed the need for the government to intervene through curriculum adjustments both in the middle and in high schools. The necessitating factor established by the study was the rampant rise of cases of student anxiety and fear towards the subject. The fear was highly blamed on the poor structuring of the education program for mathematics. Students who were unable to score well in the subject resulted in developing fear and a bad attitude towards mathematics (Al Mutawah, 2015). The fear was traced through the different levels of education studies. Worth appreciating is that the generally high levels of fear depicted by the study explained the systemic poor performance of the Bahrain students in the subject of mathematics.

**Findings**

From the literature reviewed, the questions highlighted were adequately tackled through various outcomes of studies in several parts of the world. First, all the materials evaluated showed that math phobia was common among high school students both in the developed and developing countries. However, the factors associated with the increased levels of phobia associated with mathematics could be categorized into many groups. First, there were the individual factors, which regarded the personal perception of mathematics as a subject, inability of the student to comprehend the subject matter, and the subjective attitude that math is a complicated and hard subject. Secondly, some studies revealed that teachers have played a considerable role in instilling fear; hence, causing math phobia to the students. Accordingly, the teachers could be shown to drag the students into the fear through the inability to deliver the mathematical concepts as should be intended. In other instances, the teachers portray similar fear for some of the concepts, an aspect that supports the students’ perceptions that the subject could be challenging. Poor relations between a teacher and the student could explain the same bad attitude of the student towards mathematics and consequently the development of fear. On the other hand, parental factors influencing the math phobia among students were noted in various resources. First, unfavorable past experiences with mathematics as a subjected narrated to students by their parents could contribute to the belief that mathematics is a hard subject. Consequently, when the students are introduced to the subject, they develop the fear and hence the phobia develops. Finally, the literature confirms the influence of environmental factors in increasing fear in the students regarding mathematics as a subject. For example, when the curriculum becomes too broad and quite involving, the students develop systemic fear and the attitude that mathematics is complicated. Again, the lack of supportive factors such as the modern teaching aid and mathematic labs in the high schools contributes to poor performance and the eventual development of the phobia among the students.

**Conclusion**

As it is palpable from the reviewed literature, math phobia has been shown as a global feature, which affects many students. It regards the increased fear and anxiety that students, especially, at the high school level develop towards mathematics as a subject. Many studies have been done in the past to confirm the increased number of students who develop great fear over the subject. In fact, many students find enough reasons to explain their perceived fears towards the subject. Accordingly, various research studies and academic materials have been reviewed to ascertain the level of the supposed math phobia among high school students. The underlying reasons highlighted to support the increased phobia have been categorized into the personal factors, the factors associated with teachers, the dynamics associated with parents, and other factors associated with the environment (Awasthi & Imam, 2016). The personal factors include the issues that are associated with the students such as the ability to conceptualize the mathematical concepts taught and the past experiences (Vukovic, Roberts, & Green Wright, 2013). The factors associated with the teachers are together with the teacher-student relationship and the capacity to deliver according to the curriculum (Afrifa-Yamoah, et al., 2016). On the other hand, the parental attitude and past experiences as narrated to the students are classified as parental factors.

Finally, the environmental issues highlighted included the availability of supportive features such as the mathematic laboratory and teaching aids in the schools. Besides, the literature reviewed provided various suggestions on how to reduce the levels of math phobia among the students based on the different classifications (Idowu, 2016). However, various questions guided the review of the literature for the study. First, there was the question concerned with the reasons that explain the existence of math phobia in high schools. Secondly, there was the question of how to improve the understanding and comprehension of mathematic concepts among the students. Finally, there is the inquiry on the responsibilities of the teachers towards improving the students’ understanding of mathematical concepts as well as overcoming the associated phobia. Therefore, the literature reviewed focused on answering the above questions as well as confirming the increased challenges of the math phobia among high school students.

**Implications of Practice**

The increased cases of math phobia among students attending high schools have become a phenomenon issue among policy makers and the students alike. First, the effect of the increased phobia has depicted to be behind the poor performance on the mathematics as a subject and at times in the entire high school curriculum. Therefore, the need to address the issue stems from the necessity to improve the performance of the student in the mathematics and also in the other subjects. On the other hand, the government and policy agents could be interested in addressing the challenge for improved educational performance. For instance, the government of Bahrain has been committed to improving the performance of the students for better ranking of the country at the international level. Therefore, the need to address the rampant math phobia has been confirmed from the perspective of improved academic performance and the stakeholders’ perspective. The teaching staff and the respective schools could be interested in improving the performance of the students. To address the challenge, the change of attitude and the associated fear becomes more important. In addition, the effective identification of the causes of the phobia could enable the teachers, the students, and other stakeholders to devise and embrace the appropriate reactionary measures. For instance, the students could commit towards developing a positive attitude towards the subject and the teachers. The teachers could invest in better mechanisms of delivery to the students to ensure easy compression. For example, if teachers were to develop teaching games and allow active participation, then the student could likely appreciate the subject. Investing in the right facilities for learning and improving the mathematics curriculum is the responsibility of the government and the school management. Therefore, the effect could be improving the levels of understanding of the mathematical concepts and the improvement of the attitudes of the students. In effect, the improved performance and attitude could address the challenge of rampant mathematics phobia in the high schools.

References

Afrifa-Yamoah, E., Cofie, P. O., Saeed, B. I., Karim, A., & Paul, A. (2016). Measuring and Relating Senior High School Students’ Achievement Motivation towards Mathematics Lessons. *Education*, *6*(4), 89-95.

Al Mutawah, M. A. (2015). The Influence of Mathematics Anxiety in Middle and High School Students Math Achievement. *International Education Studies*, *8*(11), 239.

Awasthi, D., & Imam, A. (2016). A Study of Mathematics Anxiety among Secondary School Students in Relation to Gender and Mathematics Achievement. *Global Journal For Research Analysis*, *4*(10).

Awasthi, D., Imam, A., & Singh, G. P. (2016). Relationship between Mathematics Anxiety among Secondary School Students with School Type and Parental Education. *Indian Journal of Applied Research*, *5*(12).

Curtain-Phillips, M. (2015). The Causes and Prevention of Math Anxiety. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/math_anxiety.html

DeWitt, P. (2012). Helping Students Cope with Math Phobia. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/02/helping_students_cope_with_math_phobia.html

Fisher, T. (2014). Helping Students Overcome “math-phobia” Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://n.loilo.tv/en/case24

Gbolagade, A. M., Waheed, A. A., & Sangoniyi, S. O. (2013). Demystifying Mathematics Phobia in Schools for Transforming Nigeria in Attaining Vision 20: 2020. *International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences*, *3*(2), 188.

Idowu, O. O. (2016). An Investigation of Mathematics Performance of High School Students in Lagos state, Nigeria: External Factors. *Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals*, *4*(1).

Karimi, A., & Venkatesan, S. (2009). Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Performance and Overall Academic Performance in High School Students. *Management and Labour Studies*, *34*(4), 556-562.

Keow L. (2012). Mathematics anxiety in secondary school students. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj13t7iz6jPAhWBuhoKHSAYBWIQFgggMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.merga.net.au%2Fdocuments%2FNg_2012_MERGA_35.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFYVfTc5M843Ort8HNwjmHcg6TrGw&sig2=8OHP6zksSKXJOfFNxtrhow&cad=rja

Krisch, J. (2015). Your fear of math is real. It might even be a phobia. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://theweek.com/articles/576282/fear-math-real-might-even-phobia

Lodaya, H. (2013). Math anxiety doesn’t just affect students. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://stemwire.org/2013/05/31/math-anxiety-doesnt-just-affect-students/

Lodaya, H. (2013). Math anxiety doesn’t just affect students. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://stemwire.org/2013/05/31/math-anxiety-doesnt-just-affect-students/

Mutodi, P., & Ngirande, H. (2014). Exploring mathematics anxiety: Mathematics students’ experiences. *Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences*, *5*(1), 283.

Newton, E. (2015). How can teachers help students overcome their fear of maths? Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-can-teachers-help-students-overcome-their-fear-maths

Olaniyan, O. M., & Salman, M. F. (2015). Causes Of Mathematics Phobia Among Senior School Students: Empirical Evidence From Nigeria. The African Symposium, 15(1), 50-56

Srivastava, R., Imam, A., & Singh, G. P. (2016). Mathematics anxiety among secondary school students in relation to gender and parental education. *IJAR*, *2*(1), 787-790.

Ural, A. (2015). An Investigation of High School Students’ Mathematics Fears According to Some Variables. *International J. Soc. Sci. & Education*, 5(3), 495-508

Vukovic, R. K., Roberts, S. O., & Green Wright, L. (2013). From parental involvement to children’s mathematical performance: The role of mathematics anxiety. *Early Education & Development*, *24*(4), 446-467.

Yahya, A. S., & Fasasi, K. M. (2012). Strategies to Reduce Pathological Fear in Mathematics among Secondary School Students in Adamawa State, Nigeria. *Editorial Board*, 180.