By JERRY E. ESPLANADA
LUCKNOW, India - Team Philippines, composed of 34 young numbers aces from various public and private schools nationwide, won a total of 26 medals in the just-ended India International Mathematics Competition (InIMC).
With a haul of one gold, eight silver and 17 bronze medals, as well as 10 merit certificates, it's no surprise to see some team members pointing their right index fingers in an upward motion during the InIMC awarding rites, held on July 30 at the City Montessori School in this city, the capital of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Philippines' lone gold medal in the July 28 contest came from the team contest, courtesy of Team C members Enzo Rafael Chan of Bayanihan Institute; Kristen Steffi Teh of Grace Christian College; Sean Matthew Tan of Jubilee Christian Academy and Cassidy Kyler Tan of Davao Christian High School.
The individual medalist are as follows:
Overall, Hong Kong's Team B topped Key Stage II (primary school) in the 26-nation contest, followed by Thailand A and Uzbekistan A.
In Key Stage III (secondary school), Singapore A placed first, followed by Thailand B and Indonesia A.
The other participating countries were Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and host India.
Dr. Simon L. Chua, chief operating officer and co-founder of the non-government Mathematics Trainers' Guild (MTG) Phils. and delegation head, commended the Filipino math wizards for a job well done.
"With your achievement, you made not only your respective families and schools but also your country proud. It also reaffirmed that Filipino math wizards rank among the best worldwide," he said.
Team Philippines was trained by MTG, which aims to promote excellence in math education and training.
Nine of the 34 team members are from public schools while the rest come from private educational institutions.
Aside from Chua, the other team officials included Dr. Isidro Aguilar, MTG president, and team leaders Joseph Wee, Robert Degolacion, Renard Eric Chua, Minerva Bianca Avecilla and Arvie Ubarro.
Last year, MTG wards bagged a total of 883 individual medals in 14 foreign math competitions, including the 2017 IMC, which was hosted by Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Prof. Wen Hsien Sun, chairman of the IMC executive board, noted that the competition "provides children from different countries an occasion to compete among themselves."
Unlike other math contests, which consist only of pen and pencil tests, we also design problem activities requiring good team work. The event is also a cultural exchange program giving children a chance to know other people and their cultures. Through this, we can help broaden their horizons and learn to understand each other better. In this manner, we can help build a better world," he added.
For her part, CMS president Geeta Gandhi Kingdon said they were "delighted to host this year's IMC, which bring like minds together, enabling students from diverse parts of the world to initiate knowledge transfer and also to promote cross-cultural understanding."
"Our goal beyond the development of number skills is to hone intelligent and smart scholars," she emphasized.
CMS, said to be the world's largest school, with a student population of about 53,000, also hosts Wizards at Mathematics International Competitions.