Solving problems

Today is World Maths Day.

And children throughout the world are celebrating mathematics by solving mental arithmetic questions online. Their goal is to set a new world record in the number of questions they collectively answer in 48 hours. But the real objective is to make maths fun. And to promote numeracy among students.

Last year more than 1 million children from 20,000 schools and 150 countries set a new world record by correctly answering 182,455,169 questions in 48 hours. The organizers of the event already predict that, by tomorrow, another world record will have been set.

The competition began at 5PM yesterday. So the competition will go on for another 31 hours even as I post this entry. And that means there’s still time. Registration is easy and free. All you need to register and participate in the event is internet access.

Our ICT facilities are rudimentary, at best. And most schools do not even have computers. Still, where the facilities are available, make use of them. Go online. Register. And get a few students – yes, even if only a handful – to participate. We can set our sights higher next year. And perhaps even borrow the idea and adapt it for our specific conditions.

Why am I excited about World Maths Day? Listen to the pain in our beloved king’s voice as he commands that “Mathematics is one of our main weaknesses. We have similar weaknesses in Science and amazingly, even English.”

For more information go to the WMD website. Or read Maria Miller’s blog.