"ICT has a lot to offer to enhance our pupils' or students' understanding of Mathematics.
"ICT can make mathematics lessons interesting so that students would be attracted to it and begin to have a liking to it," said Haji Suhaila bin Haji Abdul Karim, the Acting Permanent Secretary (core Education) at the Ministry of Education.
The Acting Permanent Secretary spoke after inaugurating the first Belait-Tutong Districts Interschool Infomaths ICT Competition 2010 and later presented prizes to the winners. "For us to see significant improvement in our students' performance in Mathematics, a balance between concept understanding approach and mastery of the mechanics of calculation in Mathematics must be ensured by teachers.
"There are another 70 to 80 per cent of students who need real help to do their Mathematics. This we can reflect when we look at the Mathematics examinations results between the year 2006- 2008, in PSR, 71 to 82 per cent of the total candidates scored grades A to C. For the same period, 'O' level Mathematics results showed of the total candidates, 34 to 36 per cent scored grades A-C.
"Our daily dealings almost every day require application of Mathematics. Thus, in our education reform brought about by SPN21, we are mindful to pay a lot of attention to Mathematics. There are already many initiatives to improve numeracy and Mathematics at primary level. Mathematics itself is considered to be a language of symbols. Many students at primary level still find it difficult to master multiplication and division as basic arithmetic operations, let alone Algebra, Decimals and Fractions," he said.
"There is no point in drilling them in harder exercises when such basic matters in Mathematics have not been taken care of adequately. The Ministry of Education has decided to emphasise School Based Assessment for learning so that intervention or remedial works can be given accordingly.
"It is still rare to see any winning materials being used or improved further to be used by teachers in their lessons. It is therefore strange to see such enormous effort where time and energy is invested but the products are not capitalised to the fullest," he said.
Hajah Nurul Akmar Hj Jaafar, Head Of Corporate Affairs, Marketing, BIBD, said, "Teachers play an integral part to ensure students understand & appreciate their learning, won't make it a subject of pressure and enforcement, but rather a subject of passion and intuitiveness. BIBD hopes that the investment in Info Maths ICT Competition 2010 is an illustration of BIBD's commitment to the education of our youth, especially in Maths subject."
First Prize went to Sekolah Menengah Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha, Tutong, comprising Md Akmal Nazmi bin Haji Kamal, Nazirah Atikah binti Apong, Nur Qistina binti Haji Ahmad, and Masnoraini binti Masle. Second prize went to Chung Hua Middle School, Kuala Belait, comprising Lilian Marie Heng Xiang, Wise Lim Chee Hwai and Chan Si Yee. Third prize went to St Margaret's School, Seria, comprising Avery Luther Icit Tan, Ashutosh Sudhir Kamble and Khairaunnadya binti Dr Sannay.
The winner's received $500 for the first prize, $300 for the second prize, and $200 for the third prize, and trophies sponsored by BIBD. Certificates were given to the teachers-in-charge and to all the participants. The competition was co-sponsored by the subject-based committee for Maths, Ministry of Education.
The guests were Mr Chin Fen Khoon, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors Chung Ching Middle School, Madam Cheong Poh Lian, Principal of Chung Ching Middle School, principals and deputy principals from participating schools, Imam Aminorddin bin Haji Mohammad Yussof, Dr Somasekharan B Pillai, chairman of the organising committee.
The chief judge was Dr Teh Keng Watt from the Institute of Technology Brunei Darussalam, with Juliet Hon Chui Suan, Unit Technology Maklumat and Haji Noruddin bin Haji Morshidi from Maths Unit, Curriculum Development Department.