Education

Bank Windhoek supports Coastal Mathematics Challenge


WINDHOEK, MAY 14 – Bank Windhoek will host the annual Bank Windhoek Coastal Maths Challenge in July 2019 at the Namib High School in Swakopmund. The event will see grade 8 to 10 learners from the Swakopmund Secondary and the Walvis Bay Secondary schools clusters compete in a mathematics skills challenge.

The aim of the competition is to expose learners to problem solving in a context of challenge and fun and to motivate teachers and learners to engage in problem solving activities on a more regular basis. “It intends to fill a gap in the development of the mathematical abilities, knowledge and skills of learners who have the potential to excel in the subject,” said Director of Orison Educational Services, Magret Courtney-Clarke.

The Bank Windhoek Coastal Maths Challenge consists of two rounds. The first round comprises a multiple-choice paper, written at the participating schools who are required to select as many learners as they wish. The second round includes 36 learners, 12 from each of the grade 8’s, 9’s and 10’s, selected from the Walvis Bay and the Swakopmund cluster schools. The competing learners then battle it out in three papers: an individual Speed Test, Multiple Choice Test and a Team Test. Teachers are involved as supervisors and markers.

The three best individual performers and the three best performing teams in each grade, will receive winning medals, while the Bank Windhoek Trophy for the Best Performing School, will also be up for grabs. The first round will take place early in the second school term of 2019, while the provisional date for the Bank Windhoek Coastal Maths Challenge will take place on Thursday, 11 July 2019 from 14:30 until 17:30.

“Problem solving and investigations are vehicles for developing logical thinking. They can provide learners with a context for learning mathematical knowledge; they enhance transfer of skills to unfamiliar situations and can lead to an appreciation for the power and beauty of mathematics and a greater enjoyment of the subject,” said Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack.

Background
The Mathematics Support and Enrichment Programme for Secondary School Learners, run by Orison Educational Services, made provision for mathematics problem solving activities since 2011. This involved teacher workshops on problem solving activities for learners as well as enrichment afternoon classes for grade 8 to 10 learners. In 2014, the Programme developed into the Coastal Maths Challenge.

Since inception approximately 1 000 learners have taken part in the first round every year. The Walvis Bay cluster won the competition in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The Swakopmund cluster won the competition in 2016 and 2017. The Private School Swakopmund attained the trophy for the Best Performing School in 2017 and 2018.

Annually new question papers, based on international guidelines, have to be set. Local mathematics teachers not affiliated to the participating school, moderate the set papers.  – NDN Staffer