A grade 12 learner from Coligny Secondary School in the North West won the final round of a Virtual Mathematics Competition (VMC2021).
18-year-old Boitumelo Mohulatsi like other learners submitted his videos to the ‘Mthethwamatics Facebook’ page solving various mathematical problems.
VMC founder Dr Simo Mthethwa said the main aim of the competition is to educate the society about some principles, fundamental concepts and theorems in mathematics.
Mthethwa said knowledge of mathematics is not a pre-requisite to participate because the aim is to educate
“The learning component of this competition is done through allowing participants to consult with whomever that may be able to assist them, be it a teacher, tutor or parent.
“Once the participant is confident to have grasped the concept then the video (2 mins) detailing the solution should be conducted and submitted to them.
“There is no limit to the tools and creativity that may be used to present the solution or explanation,” said Mthethwa.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, most competitions and activities at schools across the country are being done virtually, where possible.
The VMC is normally done through seminars and various educational programmes.
The competition was divided into Grade R to Grade 12 according to South African phases. Each phase had a problem/challenge to solve and explain.
Mohulatsi said the competition has taught him that he can do better.
“With each challenge we solve, not just my own, I learned a lot from others. It actually taught me that it’s not about what you know but from sharing and understanding concepts that makes you better”, said Mohulatsi.
MEC for Education in the North West Mmaphefo Matsemela has congratulated Mohulatsi, saying she has been cheering him on.
“I am happy for Boitumelo’s win. His dedication and passion for Mathematics proved his determination. This certainly paves a way for him towards his tertiary studies and I hope that his passion for mathematics is an inspiration to his peers as well,” said Matsemela.
The competition also aims to promote mathematics to a wider audience, over and above schools.
“We intend to do this through asking participants/contestant to explain necessary concepts in mathematics,” said Mthethwa.
Excited about his win, Mohulatsi said his motivation comes from online advanced mathematics he does when he is not at school.
“I would advise my peers to take maths as a challenge. Forget about your background or school you come from, focus on the solving a challenge. That’s the fun thing about mathematics,” said Mohulatsi.
Matsemela said this is an achievement for Mohulatsi, his school and his peers, and wished Mohulatsi many happy returns.