On April 20, seven students, boys and girls met at Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology for the regional mathematics competition, now in finals.
Rwanda’s participants hail from Ecole des sciences Byimana, Petit séminaire St Vincent de Ndera, Gashora Girls Academy of Sciences & Technology and Lycée Notre-dame de Cîteau.
While sitting the exam, in Rwanda, seven others in their respective countries of the East African community (except the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Ethiopia were also in the same competition virtually.
Organized by the Eastern Africa Mathematics Olympiad (EAMO), the competition aims to play a pivotal role in changing the attitude towards Mathematics, have good trained scientists at all levels, promote research capability in scientific context, promote gender STEM areas, and encourage science students from remote areas.
In Rwanda, the competition starts at district level where each “science based secondary school” sends at least 4 best performers. Winners compete at the provincial level and then national level where four best performers are awarded in respect of gender balance.
The best receive scholarships at the University of Rwanda, according to Prof. BANZI Wellars, the Dean of the school of Science at University of Rwanda.
Dr Celestin Kurujyibwami, the Coordinator of the competition at national level, revealed how fruitful this competition is.
“Working with the partners, university context, outreach community like secondary schools gave us away of promoting Mathematics within the country, Eastern region and internationally due to the fact that currently, best performers of previous competitions got international scholarships Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge and Oxford,” Kurujyibwami said.
“Our main goal is to identify talented students in Mathematics and to give them extra support in studying deeper Mathematics in world’s best schools” Paul Vaderlind, a professor at Stockholm university said.
Diletta Martinelli, a professor at university of Amsterdam who contributed a lot in the preparation of this competition says that governments should keep promoting basic sciences and promoting good collaboration among countries using Mathematics.
The way to go is by preparing a common curriculum that maybe used in such competitions so as to give equal chance to students.
“Mathematics is a beautiful subject which enables a student to be a useful asset of the community,” she said.
Award giving is scheduled in May and will include several prizes including medals, money, and possibly scholarships. Seven best candidates regionally will qualify for the awards.
The competition is sponsored by Global Talent Network (GTN), is for first time hybrid where each country is hosting her students but planners hope to have a live competition in the next years.