The Ministry of Education will be hosting activities from March 6 to March 10, 2016 to mark the fourth staging of the National Mathematics Week with the objective of improving attitudes to the teaching and learning of Mathematics.
The highlight of the week is the staging of the National Mathematics Expo on Thursday, March 10, 2016 on the grounds of the Old Library at the University of the West Indies Mona beginning at 9:00 a.m. More than 6000 primary and high school students are expected to visit the booths of scores of exhibitors to view the application of mathematical skills in various industries or occupations.
Fifth and sixth form students attending the mathematics expo will have the opportunity to apply for 400 available scholarships to pursue first degree programmes in mathematics and science education. The scholarships will provide full tuition except for miscellaneous costs, support for boarding where needed, and a stipend to help cover the cost of books and other supplies.
“The thrust to provide scholarships for persons choosing to pursue secondary mathematics and science education is to increase the recruitment of fully qualified mathematics and science teachers in the public school system,” explained Dr. Tamika Benjamin, National Mathematics Coordinator.
Other activities for the week include a church service on Sunday, March 6 at the Webster Memorial United Church commencing at 9:45am, a forum and the Mathematics Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 8. According to Dr Benjamin the week of activities is designed to emphasize the importance of Mathematics and to help students and other stakeholders to appreciate its relevance to everyday life. The theme of the expo is Math Counts.
“We are optimistic that persons will develop a greater appreciation for mathematics and its importance while recognizing that there is enjoyment in learning mathematics,” Dr Benjamin said. “Teachers and principals will also have the opportunity to access resources that are available to support the teaching and learning of mathematics whether through software or other tools that is critical to the teaching and learning process,” she added.
The Ministry’s National Mathematics Programme is aimed at achieving the targets of 85 percent mastery of numeracy by students at grade four by 2018 and 100 percent of the grade-eleven age cohort sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination by 2018.
Sponsors for the week of activities include Jamaica National Building Society, Book Merchant/Scholastic International, First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, The Gleaner Company and the Insurance Association of Jamaica.