Fri | Feb 23, 2018

Local business encourages love for mathematics

Published:Sunday | May 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Back row, from left: Randolph Watson; Ingrid Brown, teacher, B.B. Coke High School; Letisha Daley, teacher, Lacovia High School; Rajay Elliot, B.B. Coke High Student; Stephannie Forbes, Hampton School student; Tyrese Hylton, Lacovia High student; and Tyler Rae Clarke, Hampton School student. (Front row from left) Donnique Mullings, administrative assistant, M&M Jamaica Limited; Kemesha Hutchinson, Black River High student; Lauren Walfall, Hampton School student; Brittanie Morgan, Hampton School student; and Emily Onywere, teacher, Hampton School.

A local business, since 2004, has been socialising secondary-level students in western rural Jamaica to prioritise mathematics and its potential for personal, professional, and national development.

"Math is life - a subject that we have to apply every day. It assists with critical thinking. If a person can't think critically, he or she is at a disadvantage. The student who is skilled in mathematics will be better able to make rational judgments when called upon to do so for self or country," Coordinator of the recently concluded Mathematics Competition for High Schools in St Elizabeth, Dr Randolph Watson, said.

The competition was conceptualised by Donald Mullings, chief executive officer of Kingston-based M&M Jamaica Limited.




The contest put each student through rounds of problem-solving exercises under the supervision of select instructors. It is one of the more known alliances between the corporate and academic communities in the western end of the island.

Students from grades seven to 11 are selected by their schools and engaged by teachers who work with them on a syllabus formulated by the Ministry of Education for their respective levels.

Preparation usually begins at the start of each school year in September. A test, generated and administered by handpicked external examiners, is then given to each participant, following results, students with the highest scores are named winners. There are five levels in which participants place first, second, or third.

Winners in categories one to five of this year's instalment include, in first place: Tyler Rae Clarke (Hampton), Lauren Walfall (Hampton), Chevon Wilson (Munro), Kirkland Webb (Munro), Delano Mullings (Munro). For second place: Tyrese Hylton (Lacovia), Hosea Jackson (Munro), Brittanie Morgan (Hampton), Stephannie Forbes (Hampton), Malgay Rowe (Hampton). Kimesha Hutchinson (Black River), Sashana Smith (Black River), Rajay Elliot (B.B. Coke), Brianna Hendricks (STETHS), and Dejhon Blake (STETHS) placed third.

The group of 15 students, as part of their prize for outstanding performance, were taken on an education tour of Kingston. They were joined by organisers on a walk-through at a local television studio, where they were introduced to the behind-the-scenes operations and equipment.

They were also taken to the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), as well as the faculties of law, science and technology and social sciences at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, where key administrative figures introduced them to their respective programmes offerings and career prospects.