Starling pupils shine at mathematics competition

Pictured are the winners, from left, Mihali Bhunu, Indiphile Mbelekane, Maahir Karjieker, Liyema Mahote, Rashida Dalvi, and Zeta Sookdev.

Five Starling Primary School pupils progressed to the final round of the Metro Central’s Education District’s 2017 Mathematics Competition for Primary Schools.

Principal Raj Rajkumar said this was the first time the school had received awards for excellence in maths.

In the final round, Indiphile Mbelekane, in Grade 5, came in second place; and Mihali Bhunu, in Grade 5, and Zeta Sookdev, in Grade 7, came third.

Maahir Karjieker, in Grade, 5, and Liyema Mahote, in Grade 6, also took part in the competition, which was held at Portia Primary School in Lansdowne on Saturday August 26.

Rashida Dalvi, a Grade 5 Starling Primary School maths teacher, said she was proud of the pupils as this was the first time they had proceeded to the final round.

She encouraged them to enter the competition again next year. “The parents are so happy and excited about their children’s achievement. We are looking forward to next year’s trophies,” she said.

She said preparation for the test included giving the pupils past exam papers to work through with their parents.

Mr Rajkumar thanked the teachers and pupils for their hard work.

“They must always try to do their best and improve on what they have achieved,” he said.

He urged parents to take more interest in their children’s education and instil good discipline which went hand-in-hand with good academic results.

Indiphile Mbelekane said that she found the test “a bit difficult and a bit easy”.

“Some questions were things that we covered in class already. My parents are very proud of me, and I feel very happy, I didn’t think I would get second place,” she said.

Zeta Sookdev said: “The competition is important because it helps children to focus on maths and encourages them to think out of the box. It teaches them things out of the syllabus and introduces them to a new world of thinking. I was very surprised about my achievement and my parents are very proud of me,” she said.

Maahir Karjieker said that he definitely wants to enter the competition again next year and do better. “The competition helps children a lot with maths skills and many other skills. My family and friends are very proud of me and they encouraged me to do better next time.”

Liyema Mahote said she found the test “pretty easy” but section B was difficult. She said she felt nervous while waiting for the results.

“I felt that I should have done better and managed my time better during the test. I would like to participate every year if I can. It makes you want to do more and more,” she said.

Mihali Bhunu agreed that part of the test was easy and part of it was difficult.

“The competition can help those who struggle with maths; it will help them to improve their marks.”

He encouraged fellow pupils to believe in themselves and enter the competition.