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Whiz kids honoured

by Sunday Express
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Science and Technology Director Lefa Thamae

Science and Technology Director Lefa Thamae

Limpho Sello

THE Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology has awarded trophies and certificates to 11 UCMAS learners in recognition of their outstanding performance at last month’s 9th UCMAS National Competition in South Africa.

UCMAS is a child development program based on Mental Mathematics and the Abacus and establishes foundational building blocks like memory, concentration, creativity and problem solving – core skills that inspire greater confidence and success in all subject areas and in life.

The programme equips them with the skills they need to improve overall academic achievement and to confidently meet life’s challenges and achieve greatness.

The awards which were held this week in Maseru as part of commemorations of the Science, Technology and Innovation Week were bankrolled by Lesotho Post Bank, Standard Lesotho Bank and Econet Telecom Lesotho.

Outstanding Lesotho Science and Mathematics Teachers Association learners (LSMTA) were also honoured at the same ceremony at Lehakoe Club.

The ministry’s Science and Technology Director Lefa Thamae said they were moved to honour the learners for beating South Africans in their own backyard and bringing home 11 trophies. He said they had put the country on the map especially as they provided the overall competition winner.

“We are proud of these geniuses. This is what we need as a country and we need to instil the love of numbers from an early age for them to excel at higher level. LSMTA students have also done very well in their group and individual projects, that’s what this country needs,” Mr Thamae said.

He also said the UCMAS winners would represent Lesotho at the 21st UCMAS International Competition slated for Dubai on 11 November this year.

“This is a big achievement that we need to be proud of. Some of the LSMTA students will also represent Lesotho at the 31st Eskom Expo,” Mr Thamae said.

UCMAS Course Instructor and Administrator Nteboheleng Tsatsi said they were honoured by the ministry’s gesture to recognise the work they did with children, adding it was not an easy task.

“We are very happy because we realise our work with the children was not in vain. We are glad that there was somebody observing our work. These children are the best and they deserve the awards they received today,” Ms Tsatsi said.

She appealed to parents to enrol their children in order to create a new generation “free from the negative perception about mathematics”.

“This is an advantage to the country and these children because UCMAS contributes to improvement in education and job creation.

“The programme is not entirely about mathematics but also helps with concentration, creativity and memory resulting in the child excelling in all subjects at school,” Ms Tsatsi said.

Ministry of Communication Deputy Principal Secretary Maseqobela Williams commended all who had participated in the programme, adding everyone was a winner including those who did not receive any awards.

“What you need to do is to leave this place and work hard to get awards next year.” Ms Williams said.

She also said it was important for all stakeholders to work together to inculcate a love and appreciation of science and technology from any early age.

 

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