International maths competition aims to make the subject fun

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bonile Khanyi

One of 15 Primary school learners from the Marhulana Primary School in Xubeni Section who was to represent South Africa in the International Online Competition in Mathematics called BRICSmath.com, has described it both fun and difficult.

13-year-old Timothy Mushaikwa gained access to the International Online Competition in Mathematics when the National Department of Basic Education officially launched the programme at the school in Tembisa last week Wednesday.

At the launch, 15 Grade 6 learners, including Mushaikwa sat for 60 minutes in the main round of the competition for the very first time since its launch.

Asked about how the competition was, Mushaikwa said it was all fun and games, however, some of the tasks were a challenge.

He said these tasks helped improve his math skills.

Speaking to Inside Education on Wednesday, Marhulana Primary School Principal, Sarah Mahlagare said she was very happy that her school was chosen to be the only school to represent the country saying that such intervention strategies will help improve pupils’ mathematical skills and change learner’s perception that math is difficult.

“I am very happy that our school was chosen. Most of our learners find mathematics to be a challenging subject and with such intervention strategies, our learners would be able to see that math too can be fun and in that way, their attitude towards the subject will change for the better and they will no longer find it as challenging,” said Mahlagare.

Mahlagare also said that learners should take advantage, utilise the programme and register at home.

The department’s Curriculum Innovation and E-Learning Deputy Director, Pule Sechaba said the purpose of the competition was to bring learners from the five countries together and unite them through building a common interest in Mathematics.

The competition is offered in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and learners from Grades R to Six will now be able to register for the programme nationwide.

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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