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  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has organised several activities from March 24 to 29 as part of National Mathematics Week.
  • To be observed under the theme ‘Math Counts’, the Week will comprise activities to engage students, teachers and the general public, according to National Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry, Dr. Tamika Benjamin.
  • Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on Monday (March 11), Dr. Benjamin explained that Maths Week is one component of the Ministry’s public education and marketing campaign to highlight mathematics and its importance.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has organised several activities from March 24 to 29 as part of National Mathematics Week.

To be observed under the theme ‘Math Counts’, the Week will comprise activities to engage students, teachers and the general public, according to National Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry, Dr. Tamika Benjamin.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on Monday (March 11), Dr. Benjamin explained that Maths Week is one component of the Ministry’s public education and marketing campaign to highlight mathematics and its importance.

“We want to create an environment where maths is seen as fun… to change the experiences that students often associate with mathematics and to open them up to a greater level of willingness to participate in learning the subject,” she said.

Kick-starting the week of activities will be a road show on Friday, March 22 at the Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. This will be a fun-filled and interactive event, hosted by popular media personality, Miss Kitty that will give students and members of the public who reside outside of Kingston an opportunity to participate in the celebrations.

A church service is the next item on the schedule, to be held on Sunday, March 24 at the Life Centre Tabernacle Church of God of Prophecy in Gordon Pen, Spanish Town.

The official launch of National Mathematics Week will be held on Monday, March 25, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel and will include the awarding of the Mathematics ‘Teacher of the Year’, a competition geared towards “highlighting and celebrating excellent mathematics teaching at the primary or secondary level of the education system,” Dr. Benjamin said.

The launch will also include a presentation of resources to 10 teacher-training institutions as part of the Japanese-funded Technical Cooperation Grant in the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP).

This presentation will be made by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.

The Mico International Mathematics Teaching Summit is scheduled for March 25 to 27 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, under the theme ‘Mathematics for Sustainable Economic Growth and Job Creation’, and will feature international presenters with expertise in mathematics and the teaching of the subject from Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These presenters will collaborate with their counterparts from Jamaica and participants from the wider Caribbean in exploring international best practices in the teaching of mathematics.

The week culminates on Friday, March 29, with the National Mathematics Exposition at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.

The expo, which Dr. Benjamin describes as a “growing event” and the “most popular event for the week”, will play host to students and teachers from across the island.

Exhibitors from both the public and private sectors will have display booths showcasing the relevance of maths to their respective industries or professions.

These displays will be of particular importance to the students. “This is one of the tenets of good maths teaching. Students should be able to see maths in its context… . It’s not just about following some steps, but they [students] should be able to see how those ideas are applicable to everyday life and this is an opportunity for them to see maths in various contexts,” she explained.

Dr. Benjamin pointed out that participants in the expo have grown from 2,500 to over 8,000, and the Ministry has been working closely with the UWI to ensure a successful event, including adequate arrangements to accommodate the students on campus for the day, adequate parking for all the buses, and adequate facilities for students to have their meals.

There will be a lunch-hour concert as part of the expo, allowing the students to showcase pieces they have done in promoting the ‘Math Counts’ theme.

“We expect it to be a very exciting day and week of activities and we are encouraging students and teachers to come out,” Dr. Benjamin said.

National Mathematics Week is being executed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and the Mico International Mathematics Teaching Summit is being hosted by the Moco University College, in collaboration with the Ministry.