Apart from the norm where private school students appear to be top flyers, this week four students from public schools emerged to be among the best six students in Mathematics in Botswana. These are Bamebotlhe John from Mc Connell College in Tutume, Kebafilwe Loiti from Moshupa Senior Secondary School, Tinashe Olekantse from Moeding College and Temana Bakaabatsile from Letlhakane Senior Secondary School. The other two are from private schools being Ga Ram Park from Maruapula School who is the only female and Sparsh Gautam from Waterford. The brilliant six young minds are participating in the 56th International Mathematical Olympiad which is currently running until the 16th of July in the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand. Mathematical Olympiad is the most prestigious annual world Mathematics competition and Botswana will be participating for the first time since the Maths Olympiad launch in 1959.
Mathematics Association of Botswana chairman Matthews Lesole said this will give the locals a chance to interact with other high school learners from around the globe among them China, Japan, United States of America, Canada and South Africa. “Our students will be exposed to not only solving mathematical problems but practising social skills in a multicultural event,” he said. To him the team is going there to learn from countries like China which has won the competition 19 times. The six were drawn from the nation’s top 100 students from all the schools in Botswana.
One of the selected students John revealed his love for Mathematics and expressed gratitude to be among the best six young Mathematicians in the country and to have the honour to represent the nation at such a high profile event. “I think I will learn a lot from the event. Everyone knows that countries like China and Japan are good in Mathematics, so we are going there to learn,” he said. The association partnered with Limkokwing University in sending off the team. The university’s spokesperson Mercy Thebe said: “It is our main vision to mould our students to be active in global events hence our collaboration and participation with the organisation,” she said. The team gear is sponsored by Mascom which has provided formal and casual wear.