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High school students undertaking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects have been urged to consider mathematics as a needed tool in their daily routines.

The call was made by the state minister in charge of primary and secondary education during a ceremony to award the Team Rwanda winners in the Pan-African Mathematical Olympiad, which took place last week at AIMS Rwanda centre Remera Campus.

The six bronze medalists are Joseph Desire Abayo and Nadine Akimana from Ecole des Sciences Byimana, Honorine Munezero of Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux and Abdulkarim Mugisha from Riviera School.

Others are Jean Nepo Munezero from Petit Seminaire Ndera and GS Saint André’s Kelly Uwase.

According to Minister Twagirayezu, mathematics is not just numbers but a way of life.

“We are all aware that mathematics is not only numbers, but a tool to help individuals, organizations and the society at large to deal with the most pressing issues in our communities,” he said.

He also hailed the students and their respective schools for the stellar performance in the pa-African competition, saying that despite the Rwandan team being a first time participant, they managed to be top in East Africa and seventh across the continent.

“I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who was involved in preparing our champions. We know that it takes a village to educate a child and I would want to recognize the hard work of the parents, teachers, and coaches,” he added.

Twagirayezu also commended the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) which is the contest’s organiser.

“We also appreciate AIMS efforts for not only being a champion for mathematical sciences on the continent, but to also support us in strengthening mathematics and sciences in our schools,” he said.

Through the Teacher Training Programme, the minister said that AIMS has been training mathematics and science teachers in the country. This is an important step in ensuring that our teachers are properly prepared to train tomorrow’s problem solvers, he concluded.

Organised by AIMS, the Pan-African Mathematical Olympiad is the most prestigious high school mathematics competition on the continent and it focuses on testing the participants’ ability to think critically and solve problems. - Bertrand Byishimo, The New Times

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