Maths competition winners ready for robotics and coding says Motshekga

 Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga with Horizon Maths Competition winners at Wits Linder Auditorium

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga lavished praise on winners of the 18th Horizon Maths Competition saying that the successful students were ready to achieve the department’s vision in coding and robotics.

Speaking at the Horizon Educational Trust’s 18th Maths Award Ceremony, held in Wits’ Linder Auditorium, Motshekga said her department has a historical mandate to improve maths and science education in public schools.

She said the collaboration between Government, the private sector and private schools played very vital role in motivating and supporting children to participate in maths and science.

“I appreciate the Horizon Trust’s contribution not only the schools they are running, but also to the education system and to our country. Our policy as a department is bolstered, driven by the national development plan, which says as people, we have to make sure that maths and science are improved, I want to thank Horizon for putting mats, science and technology in the forefront.”

The minister said that these pools of students were ready to be successful in “coding and robotics” as they had proved that they are successful in maths. “It is estimated that by 2020, as many as 80 percent of all future jobs will require a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.” Mosthekga emphasized the importance of maths education. 

 From 800 to over 80 000 participants

The Horizon Maths Competition started in 2004 with 800 participants. The number increased to 82777 for this years maths competition. Grade 7 student Maia Birch from Rustenburg Girl’s Junior School in Cape Town took 1st place in the competition.

Gauteng’s maths champion Penumala Jonathan, grade 7 student, from Montrose Primary School came seventh overall.

Birch received an Ipad and a gold medal. The students placed second to 10th received a silver medal, a smartphone, bicycle and other successful learners in the first 100 received various other prizes.

Since 2000, Horizon Trust has invited learners from grades 5, 6 and 7 from nationwide to enter the competition. The exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions, worded in English and participants have 75 minutes to answer these questions.