International School Walvis Bay’s Laura Damster was the top learner in the grade 10 category of the 2021 Bank Windhoek Coastal Maths Challenge hosted at the Namib High School in Swakopmund recently.
Amit van Dyk from Private School Swakopmund (PSS) ended second and Benjamin Bailey, also from PSS scooped third place.
The event saw grade 8 to 10 learners from the Swakopmund secondary, and the Walvis Bay secondary schools’ clusters compete in mathematics skills challenges.
Liam Nasilowski from Pro-Ed Akademie won the grade 8 category, while Stefan Lotriet from Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) and Benjamin de Wet, also from Pro-Ed Akademie, came in second and third place.
Cesar Fernandes from the International School Walvis Bay (ISWB) was the top performer in the grade 9 category, while Stacey Damster from The Dolphin Schools came second, and WBPHS’s Hendrik Viljoen and Flamingo Secondary School’s Turee Perestrelo shared the third spot.
The Best Performing School, based on the average mark of all school learners, went to ISWB with a score of 47.86%. Pro-Ed Akademie reached 45.38%, while WBPHS scored 42.74% overall.
Based on the average mark of all participating learners from the cluster, Walvis Bay won with a narrow margin of 41.6% compared to Swakopmund’s 40.1%.
Challenging learners’ mathematical skills
On the final day, a total of 73 learners from grades 8, 9, and 10 gathered for an afternoon of problem-solving comprising three mathematical papers.
The first paper tested the learners on mental mathematics proficiency and number sense. In contrast, the second paper consisted of multiple-choice questions focused on understanding and logical thinking over 10 questions. The third paper consisted of open questions that required insight and knowledge without the advice of solutions but with permission to use a calculator.
The Bank Windhoek Coastal Maths Challenge exposes learners to problem-solving in a challenging and fun context since 2014.
It regularly motivates teachers and learners to engage in problem-solving activities periodically.
“I wish mathematical problem solving would receive more attention in schools because problem-solving can lead to an appreciation for the power of mathematics,” said the challenges’ organizer, Courtney-Clarke from Orison Educational Services.
Courtney-Clarke added that the support of all the mathematics teachers and the learners at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay secondary schools had carried the event forward.
“However, the support of a sponsor is indispensable. Our gratitude goes to Bank Windhoek for recognising the importance of promoting mathematical problem solving among our Namibian learners and for the support this event enjoys,” she concluded.
The Swakopmund cluster consisted of:
• Pro-Ed Akademie
• Private School Swakopmund
• Namib High School
• Swakopmund Secondary School
• Vrede Rede Combined School
• Kolin Foundation Secondary School
• Riverside Private School
Walvis Bay Cluster:
• Walvis Bay Private High School
• International School Walvis Bay
• The Dolphin Schools
• Flamingo Secondary School
• Kuisebmond Secondary School