I think a lot of students don’t like math because they see this as monotonous and repetitious. Also, the vast majority of students I have encountered in my 7 years of private tutoring can’t see where they will need this knowledge in real life. I agree that a lot of the higher level mathematics will not be used by the majority of people, but knowing concepts such as percentages, fractions, ratios, and for sure the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are essential in many life decisions.
Math is involved in buying a home, deciding which bank account to put your money in, figuring out what is the best buy in a supermarket, etc. Those are all things everyone in life at some time or another will encounter. The sciences, on the other hand, might not be as useful to many people, unless one is interested in the particular sciences as a course of study for a career.
Knowing biological sciences, particularly plant life, etc, can be very helpful if someone wants to have a nice garden. I think that teachers should try to find a way to get the concepts across to the students in both maths and sciences using real life examples to show how the students can, and sometimes will, use some of the knowledge taught to them in every day life. For example, suppose one is shopping and there is a sale for 20% off. It would be helpful to be able to calculate the sale price to compare to prices of the same item elsewhere. Another example would be investing and making the most lucrative decision with your money. Do you decide whether to invest money for 5 years at 4% interest paid compounded annually or for 6 years at 3% interest compounded semiannually? Suppose someone wants to paint their walls and install new carpeting. A gallon of paint will cover a specified square footage and carpeting is priced in square feet. If one doesn’t understand the concept of square feet, knowing the correct amount of carpeting and paint to purchase will be a problem.
Even if the class is something that won’t be used later in life, it’s the job of the teachers to make the students learn in any way possible, so making something students find boring into something fun for the students is the way to go. Splitting the students up as teams or individually to have games, can introduce a new element to learning which is rewarded with prizes.. Nothing says learning a normally dull, repetitive, monotonous subject can’t be made into something that incorporates a bit more fun. Watch and see how fast the students will learn and want to learn the subject matter when the elements of teamwork or competition are introduced.