Head of Mathematics Department at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Khumbo Kumwenda has said students from mission secondary schools will continue dominating their government school counterparts, if the current indiscipline is government schools is not checked.
Kumwenda said this during the prize presentation to students who triumphed in this year’s Secondary School Mathematics Olympiad sponsored by Old Mutual Insurance Company.
He observed that since the competition started in 2015, the performance of students from government secondary schools has not been convincing.
Kumwenda, however, attributed some of the problems to lack of resources in government secondary schools.
“It is an issue to do with resources. But in addition to that, most government secondary schools do not enforce certain levels of discipline among students as it is the case with mission secondary schools,” he said.
“To make matters worse, you will find that in one class there are over 100 learners—a number which is very difficult to control for a teacher, especially when it comes to mathematics,” he said.
Out of 179 students from 61 schools that took part in the 2017 competition, 63 were girls.
Despite being in minority, the girls dominated five of the top six positions, with Alinane Mazalo from St Mary’s Catholic Girls Secondary School emerging the winner.
Wezi Kanyenda of Atsikana Paulendo came second while Grace Sakala from Nkhamenya Girls Secondary School came third.
Apart from getting K200, 000 school fees, Alinane walked away with K110, 000 grand prize money and a trophy.
Kumwenda, however, said that the institution is impressed with the level of competition among schools and students.
Old Mutual Insurance Company Managing Director Tavona Biza was delighted seeing girls dominating top positions, saying it is the positive outcome of the initiative.
He added that since the competition started in 2015, it has changed people’s mindset that mathematics is for boys.
“It is good that the number of participating students has been increasing over the years. In a special way I think 2017 has been great seeing girls outperforming boys on the mathematics. That is exactly what we wanted when we were launching this competition,” Biza said.
Biza therefore said that the company will come back next year but with an increased number of competing schools.
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