Sat | Apr 20, 2019

Mico gets $5m from NCB for maths competition

Published:Tuesday | March 19, 2019 | 12:11 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

With the first ever International Mathematics Teaching Summit days away, a list of pre-event activities are already creating a buzz.

As part of the upcoming event is the first of its kind Mico University College-National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mathematics Innovation Competition, which has attracted 167 institutions of learning.

A total of 87 primary schools, 72 high schools and eight tertiary institutions representing the 14 parishes will participate in the competition.

The two-day Mico International Mathematics Teaching Summit gets under way from March 25-27, with the opening ceremony and full events slated for The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Title sponsor NCB has contributed $5 million towards the competition, the National Water Commission has offered $2.5 million, with the other sponsors, the Jamaica National Group, Kendel, and Gore Homes also showing strong support for the innnovative competition.

Mico President Dr Asburn Pinnock said that the summit signals the university’s steadfast commitment to working with the Ministry of Education and the private sector.

“As we march towards full university status, this summit will allow us to work with all sectors to increase the quality and efficiency of the country’s education system. We have always responded to the national needs of this country, and have continued doing so with the current cohort of maths and science students,” Pinnock said in a statement delivered by Dr Albert Benjamin, dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, yesterday.

The competition and, by extension, the maths summit is in response to the ministry’s push towards establishing STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – as the vehicle to promote greater critical thinking in the education sector as the basis for sustainable economic and social development.

The Mico currently hosts the largest cohort of maths and science teachers in national history. And, beginning this year, more than 200 such teachers will be deployed in the education system.

“The Mico is pleased to be pioneering such life-changing initiative, and that with more than 20 sponsors on board, it is evident that private and public sector partnership is necessary for sustainability,” Pinnock noted.

The purpose of the competition is to engage students to showcase their creativity and innovation in the subject of mathematics, as well as to highlight the relevance and real-life applicability of the subject. The competition is to also allow students an opportunity to demonstrate sound mathematical thinking and understanding.

Antonio Spence, representing the NCB Foundation, said that he stands in support of The Mico University College for establishing such a groundbreaking competition.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com