Singapore-based company finds a fun way to learn math

On the face of it, the question is simple. A 10-year-old must, based on the calendar, answer a few questions. It begins with “Sanjay goes to gym every Monday morning, Wednesday evening and Saturday morning.” And goes: “How many times did Sanjay hit the gym in the morning? How many times did he go to the gym in June. If odd number of days are holidays how many days did Sanjay miss the gym?”

The question is part of a sample worksheet provided by MathGym, a Singapore-based organisation which plans to introduce higher-order thinking among Indian school students.

Mathematics teachers say the question aimed at 9-11 year olds could stump students as they have not been taught to think critically or laterally. “It is aimed to make learning math more enjoyable while laying a foundation for higher-order skills,” said Aspire Ventures’ CEO, K. Swaminathan, at the launch of the programme on Wednesday.

K. Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Culture and Tamil Official Language, urged the organisation to consider introducing the programme in government schools. “Please don’t stop with elite schools. The Tamil Nadu School system will be receptive, ” he said.

Emeritus Vice Chairman of Cognizant, Lakshmi Narayanan, who also participated in the launch, said that children aged between 8 and 10 years develop most of their analytical thinking skills and math proficiency which is important as a base for research in all science subjects.

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