One of Barbados’ first celebratory steps towards recognising International Day of Mathematics, March 14, was endorsed yesterday by Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Kay McConney.
An exhibition at the Media Resource Department (MRD), comprising students’ work, texts developed by Barbadian teachers, games, puzzles and other items, came in for high praise from the Minister, as she viewed student and teachers’ work on display in MRD’s Auditorium, at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.
Pleased by the offerings in the “Maths Village”, Ms. McConney exclaimed: “I came here today and it was exciting from the time we got to the door, where we dealt with Mathematics as it relates to the Infants and for the Juniors. And then we moved to a table of books – amazing books in Mathematics, written by Barbadian teachers that are being used right now, actively in the school environment.
“Outstanding books with images that resemble Barbados, where students can indeed not just relate to what they are learning. They can not only relate to the numbers, but they can relate to the images as well.”
The theme for the Day was Mathematics Unites, and the Minister noted, in the video undertaken by staff of the MRD, that it certainly did. Elaborating, she stressed: “We have here a number of other areas where we can see where students have come together, doing representation of things in their community, using different shapes – triangle and squares. And, to some, this might seem very simple but the truth is, it is making Mathematics real; so that it is not a theory.
“It is something that our children can relate to things that they do. And, in fact, I found myself here playing hopscotch and again the hopscotch that was drawn had specific numbers and you were able again to have fun with numbers while memorising how those numbers will sequence. This is an amazing experience Barbados.”
Ms. McConney also took the time to explain that Barbadian teachers are also trying their hand successfully at several innovations that are proving to be “so exciting”.
While not disclosing any name, she said: “Right now, we have a teacher in Barbados who is not only designing books for students but has created an app where this teacher is able to send the app to the students with comics and the student is then able to fill in the comics, whether it’s with words or with numbers or whatever their creativity will bring to the teacher.
“And that is a way for the teacher to get them engaged. So, there is so much innovation happening in education, Barbados, not just on this International Day of Mathematics.”
The Education Minister encouraged Barbadians to take the opportunity and make the time “to go and see the work” that will continue to be displayed at the MRD, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until Friday, March 18.