Students embrace bpTT math initiative

"I now realise that mathematics is one of the key subjects you need to progress in life. I intend to take it further"

Friday, August 8, 2014

TWENTY-FOUR resourceful young men and women attached to the North-Central Region of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) have dispelled their longstanding fear of mathematics and have embraced the subject, as a result of the continuing collaborative effort between the CCC and energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago.

Drawn from several communities in north-central Trinidad, the students graduated last Thursday (July 31) from an intensive two-week training course which covered a comprehensive outline of the fundamentals of mathematics. They eagerly accepted their Certificates of Achievement at a simple function at the CCC centre in Port of Spain.

The students put on a delightful skit to demonstrate their “new-found” affinity for the subject, with one taking on the role of tutor and imparting the rudiments to her “students”. The skit was appropriately entitled “We Came. We Conquered. We Can.”

Now in its fourth year, the annual bpTT Young Adult Mathematics Experience has been expanded this year from three to four regions, facilitating CCC students from the North-Central, North-West, Tobago and South Regions. It accommodates more than 100 young people.

The math experience was designed to remove the daunting fears some people have of the subject, putting them on a more confident path to pursue it at examination level. It is certainly working for 22-year old Waheeda Baksh, of Sangre Grande. 

“To be honest, I never did maths at secondary school. This is the first time I am studying it at this level. I now realise that mathematics is one of the key subjects you need to progress in life. I intend to take it further,” said Baksh, who thrilled the audience when she delivered her “Student Reflection” remarks in catchy rap style.

Joel Primus, Community and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, bpTT, said the company was happy to support the personal development of the young people attached to the Civilian Conservation Corps. “Our of our core policies is to develop the human resources of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We support you fully as you seek to further your education. Use this mathematics experience as a building block in your lives,” he urged the students.

CCC Programme Director, Major Cheryl Richardson, thanked bpTT for collaborating with the CCC for yet another year “to stimulate these young, impressionable minds at a time when there is a lot of tension and uncertainty.”
“This training camp is not the end of your studies in mathematics. Make it another important stepping stone. You are now at a place where you know what you can do to succeed. The true test is to continue until you have in your hand a piece of paper which certifies you have a distinction in maths,” Major Richardson urged.

Andrew Cross, of training agency Cross & Associates, which conducted the classes, advised the students that mathematics would be a critical component of their personal careers. “Persons who have not crossed that hurdle have remained in the doldrums of academic progress,” he noted.

Praise was heaped on tutor Nicole Lord for her easy manner in presenting the fundamentals of mathematics to the students.