The Search for Kenya’s top mathematicians has started in earnest. The mathematics Association of Kenya in partnership with KAPEK kicked off the exercise on Thursday at Alliance Girls High School. The top students will represent Kenya at this years 62nd International Olympiad to held in Washington D.C , USA and the Pan African Competition.
Speaking during the launch of the exercise, KAPEK Marketing Manager Clare Curran noted that mathematics is an integral part of our lives and that the competition helps to identify mathematical geniuses at an early age “This competition is a wonderful opportunity for students in high school to come out and be identified at a an early age, so that they can be nurtured. For the schools participating, it will help them improve on their mathematics performance in national examinations”
Olympiad questions are designed in a manner to asses and promote problem solving skills by stretching the mind of the young learners. “ the competition has senior and junior category. In the first round we select top 200 in senior and top 100 from junior. In the next round of competition, we select only the top 40” added Clare. The final selection will see only 6 picked to proceed for the pan African and international stage.
The principal of Alliance Girls High school Ms Virginia Muthoni reckons that indeed the olympia is a great opportunity. “As the students practice in the Olympia, they stretch their mind beyond limits. As a results those who do well in the Olympia perform well in national exams. This Olympia also helps to impart participants and help them be innovative”
Now in its 11th year, Kenya’s Cynthia Migika was the first silver medalist at Pan African Mathematical Olympiad in 2016. In 2010, Albert Wandui managed to clinch bronze medal during the panama African contest. He is currently studying Medicine at Kenyatta University.
Participants have an opportunity to win cash prizes courtesy of KAPEK mathematical sets. Schools participating in the Olympiad will also receive monthly KCSE revision papers.
The competition was started in 2009 by Kenya Institute of Education, KIE now Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, KICD. At the time, it was being sponsored by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology. 96 schools will be participating this year. The School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi is also a partner this year.