Math enthusiasts go head-to-head in Math-A-Thon

Zubair Qureshi

COMSATS University students on Tuesday used sports, lively activities and local games to develop creative and exciting ways of teaching Mathematics to school students of Class-1 to Class-10.
They were doing this lively exercise at the 3rd Math-A-Thon that took place at COMSATS University.
The Math-A-Thon was a joint initiative of COMSATS, Code for Pakistan, Numaish Karachi and Alif Ailaan, in collaboration with the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science. Several Math-A-Thons are being planned to be held all across Pakistan in different universities.
As many as 60 teams from 10 different departments of COMSATS joined students of three girls’ high schools and three boys’ high schools from Islamabad. Each team consisted of three university students and one government school student from Grade 9th or 10th.
The judges’ panel, consisting of Zain Maken (Teach for Pakistan), Faisal Laghari (LearnOBots), Dr. Seemab Latif (AWAZ), Neha Noor (Pakistan Innovation Foundation), Badar Muneer (Knowledge Platform), Amal Hayat (Knowledge Platform), and Masud Ahmad (Deputy DEO Rawalpindi) awarded all the participating groups with cash prizes and certificates.
Children begin to learn and use mathematics in their daily lives from a fairly young age. However, our current education system struggles to make theoretical mathematical concepts relevant to the daily lives of the children. The dominant culture of rote-learning and result-based outcomes in education hampers critical thinking of children, resulting in poor learning outcomes. The Annual Status of Education Report 2016 (ASER) reveals, more than 50% of grade 5 students in Pakistan cannot perform two-digit division sums based on the curriculum of grade 2. The national mean math score for Class IV students in the NEAS exams conducted in 2016 was 484 out of 1,000. With the current level of learning outcomes of children, the need for innovation in the traditional style of teaching and learning must be addressed as a priority. Gamification of mathematics is one step towards breaking the chain of traditional teaching methodology for mathematics.

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