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2013:Young SA pupils off to Bulgaria for Maths competition

A number of South African High School learners will be departing for Bulgaria in late June where they will be participating in the Bulgaria International Mathematics Competition (BIMC). In support of developing potential in the lower grades, the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) decided to, for the first time since the inception of the International Mathematical Competition, sponsor a team of learners to represent the SAMF. “The exposure and continued training will allow them to compete with confidence in other competitions such as the annual International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO),” says Bersan Lesch, Deputy Director,Talent for SET Careers at the DST.

Shandukani Mulaudzi, Grade 10, Herschel Girls’ High School

Arthur Qampi, 14, Star College

Mbono Mncwabe, 14, Maritzburg College

Nkanyiso Mthembu, 16, Maritzburg College

Nkanyiso Mthembu and Mbonomuhle Mncwabe are both learners at Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg and will, along with Shandukani Mulaudzi, a Grade 10 learner at Herschel Girls’ High School in Cape Town and Arthur Qampi who is in Grade 7 at Star College in Durban, travel to Burgas in Bulgaria for this international mathematics competition. The team leaders accompanying the team will be Kitty Phillips and Joseph Mugumbate. “I started to really like Maths in junior school and can remember working through extra Maths books on weekends for fun when I was in primary school,” says Shandukani Mulaudzi. Sharing her love for numbers, an excited Arthur Qampi says that he started playing with a calculator long before he went to primary school. “My late grandfather played a huge role in my interest in mathematics. He taught me some arithmetic and how to write.” “Maths is an important subject to me because it triggers critical thinking and is a basis for understanding more complex concepts,” explains Mbonomuhle Mncwabe who is thankful to his parents for supporting his love for numbers and encouraging him to always to better. Nkanyiso Mthembu reiterates the importance of mathematics. “The knowledge and principles attained in maths can be used in other aspects of life,” he says. “My passion for maths comes from the way my parents brought me up – the things that my dad does like fixing, solving and putting things together. For me maths has seemed as a game (sport), something that has always been fun, something I can play with.” “These learners, who form one of eight South African teams that will be participating in Bulgaria, are also part of the Siyanqoba Regional Olympiad Training Programme funded by the DST, which aims to develop problem-solving skills and improve performance in the annual South African Mathematical Olympiad (SAMO),” concludes Lesch. “By participating in the SAMO, high school learners are preparing for the selection of the team that will represent the country in the IMO2014 that will be held, for the first time, on African soil in Cape Town during July next year.” The Bulgaria International Mathematics Competition takes place in Burgas, Bulgaria from 30 June to 5 July.



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