T&T students top Math competition

Four young stu­dents have done the coun­try proud by ex­celling in an in­ter­na­tion­al men­tal math­e­mat­ics com­pe­ti­tion in Cam­bo­dia, claim­ing first, sec­ond and third places in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories.

Ivan Chris­t­ian Ma­haraj, 11, Bruce Boodoo, nine, Tee­van Sam­lal, 15 and Kristoff See­baran, eight, trav­elled 17,000 km to the South-East Asian na­tion to com­pete against more than 4,000 par­tic­i­pants from 80 coun­tries at the Uni­ver­sal Con­cept Men­tal Arith­metic Sys­tem (UC­MAS) 24th In­ter­na­tion­al Com­pe­ti­tion on De­cem­ber 8.

Af­ter com­pet­ing in the one-day event Ma­haraj cap­tured first place, Boodoo placed sec­ond, while Sam­lal and See­baran took third place in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories. Flash­ing bril­liant smiles, the boys were ex­treme­ly proud of their achieve­ments in an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia at Palmiste Park, San Fer­nan­do.

Elat­ed over the chil­dren’s per­for­mance, na­tion­al fran­chisee for UC­MAS T&T, Ro­ma Ajod­ha-See­ber­an ex­plained that the lo­cal branch was formed six years ago, but be­gan com­pet­ing in the in­ter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion about three years ago. This year, how­ev­er, is the first time that UC­MAS T&T has done so well.

The chil­dren were re­quired to first com­plete 200 ques­tions in eight min­utes and the sec­ond part in­volved lis­ten­ing to ques­tions and an­swer­ing them. They were not al­lowed to use an aba­cus or cal­cu­la­tor. The par­ents had to source fund­ing for the trip. Ajod­ha-See­baran said her at­tempts to get spon­sor­ship from the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ty and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion were un­suc­cess­ful.

UC­MAS T&T, how­ev­er, gives the stu­dent who places first in the na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion from which the top stu­dents are se­lect­ed for the in­ter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion, US$1,000 to help to­wards air­fare to get to the in­ter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion. This year the group is hop­ing to host fundrais­ing events to as­sist the stu­dents with their trav­el­ling ex­pens­es.


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