PMB Maths whizz kid off to Hong Kong

2008-06-10 00:00

Deccan Road Primary School is proud to be sending one of its pupils to Hong Kong to represent the city of Pietermaritzburg in the 12th Po Leung Kuk World Primary Mathematics Contest in July.

Grade seven pupil Keyoolin Padayachee (11) is a double gold medallist in the Association of Maths Education for South Africa (Amesa) Challenge.

This qualified him for the trip to Hong Kong to compete with pupils from other countries by engaging in problem-solving and critical thinking challenges.

Amesa is an amalgamation of all nine previously divided maths education organisations in SA.

According to the chairman of Amesa’s problem-solving committee, Yegambaran Tyger, it was formed in 1994 with the intention of popularising maths.

Although Amesa is a national organisation, Padayachee competed at a provincial level in September last year.

He is part of two teams of eight who will be up against 40 other teams from 15 different countries.

Deccan Road Primary School principal Siva Gouden said this was an outstanding achievement and they are proud to have a pupil who has gone so far.

“We give full credit to the learner — he has natural talent. Throughout his schooling he has shown interest in maths. Thanks also goes to our team of educators and his parents who have been so supportive,” he said.

Padayachee wrote papers for the Amesa challenge for both grades six and seven last year, grabbing gold for both grades.

His maths teacher, Gary Ramlall, said Padayachee is working at a higher level than pupils of his age because he has exhausted examples and problems at his level.

They now have to look at higher grades by using international Olympiads sourced from the Internet for problems suitable for him.

Padayachee will be the fourth pupil to represent the school in Hong Kong since the first competition started in 1998.

He plans to be a scientist, chemical engineer or anything to do with maths.

“From grade four, when I first got a gold medal, my mother has been pushing me to do better.

Maths is my hobby and I love it. But I didn’t think I would get this far. Chinese people are clever, but hopefully I will be able to do well.”

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