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#425299 - 12/15/11 02:37 PM Math Olympiad cancelled
Marty Offline

There is a report tonight that is not good news for high school students. It involves the future of the highly anticipated Belize Math Olympiad (BMO) in which the brightest high school students look forward to test their math skills and endurance in the highly competitive contest. For months, the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BAPSS) has been going back and forth with the Social Security Board (S.S.B.), which sponsors the BMO over new rules of engagement. S.S.B., earlier this year, set out a new criteria to take effect in 2012 which essentially allows for students to participate only once in the junior level (first or second form) and once in the senior level (third or fourth form). BAPSS resisted the criteria on the grounds that students in first and third forms sit as alternates and do not compete. S.S.B. retained its stance, but agreed to implement the new criteria in 2013. BAPSS, however, stood its ground on the basis that schools put a lot of time and effort in preparing the students and that the new rules were tantamount to preventing an athlete in taking part twice in a competition. In a letter dated December fifth, BAPSS wrote to the BMO saying “It appears that the S.S.B. is now saying that it will be dropped for this year only, but that the S.S.B. has decided to implement it in 2013. To us this means that the new rule has not been dropped—it has only been delayed. Our position, as voiced by many principals at said meeting, will not change for next year.” Today, the response came from the BMO. It states that “SSB has therefore decided to suspend the BMO for 2012, while we re-evaluate the situation and consider what other options are available, or whether the funds allocated for the BMO need to be re-deployed in another forum through other organizations that will guarantee its continued relevance and effectiveness.” According to the S.S.B., the new criteria would broaden the actual participant base and is not about whether or not funds are available. So there you have it, the BMO, which was launched in 2006 and started in 2007, has been suspended for 2012 and its future hangs in the balance. The Math Olympiad costs in the range of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars that is drawn from the Social Security Development Account that is put aside every year from the yearly workers and employers contributions. This year’s competition was won by St. John’s College. The team members include Einar Marin, Yun-Te Teng, Aaron Stock and Romel Rudon who compiled four thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine points, won SJC’s second championship in a row.

Channel 5


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#425395 - 12/16/11 03:29 PM Re: Math Olympiad cancelled [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Schools and students disappointed by cancellation of Math Olympiad

The future of the Belize Math Olympiad is still hanging in the balance tonight. We reported on Wednesday that the Social Security Board’s decision to change the requirements of entry into the competition was turned down by the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BAPSS). In October, S.S.B. informed BAPSS that students in first and third form who participate as alternates could not compete. S.S.B. offered to suspend the new regulations for 2012, but agreement could not be reached so S.S.B. has decided to suspend the BMO for 2012. The decision has stunned and disappointed a number of students across the country. Earlier today, we spoke to the Head of the Math Department at Wesley College, Orin Castillo; he says the school is distraught since students were already preparing for the competition. Castillo says he doesn’t support the Belize Math Olympiad’s prospective new rule.

Orin Castillo, Head of Mathematics Department, Wesley College

“I can only speak for myself, and not for the principal, nuh. Well, my view on the issue is that, well, the two parties need to come to a compromise on this issue because if we don’t have the Olympiad this year, it will be a big loss for the students, all across the country, nuh and the best interest of the student is what I have at heart, nuh.”

Andrea Polanco

Orin Castillo

“So, Mr. Castillo, have you guys been preparing and getting ready for the upcoming Math Olympiad?”

Orin Castillo

“Yes, we have, in fact actually, just yesterday afternoon there was an interschool competition between, Edward P. Yorke, Gwen Liz and Wesley and it went well and the students enjoyed it. I was disheartened to watch the news last night and find out the news nuh. When I spoke to my team this morning, they were very disappointed to hear the news. This may only be for this year we don’t know you know, maybe they will hash it out before next February or possibly for next year, so I don’t think that it will be long lasting.”

Andrea Polanco

“Do you support it; support the decision being made by the Social Security Board, in terms of the Math Olympiad?”

Orin Castillo

“Umm, personally, I don’t support the decision trying to put forth by the Social Security Board to limit it to only once as a junior, only once as a senior, no. Aside from that, if we don’t have the Math Olympiad this year, sponsored by the Social Security Board, I, myself and I think I can probably speak for the Heads of Department at E.P. Yorke and Gwen Liz, we would like to probably organize a competition among the ten inner city schools, ourselves so that the students aren’t so disappointed and we can still do our own thing you know.”

A number of other schools we spoke to say that they will be in touch with the BMO to seek clarification on the rash decision. The BMO secretariat told Channel Five that their position is contained in the letter to BAPSS.

Channel 5


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#425433 - 12/16/11 06:04 PM Re: Math Olympiad cancelled [Re: Marty]
Cayemen Offline
A such stupid thing can only happens in Belize. This is the a stroke in the heart of all hard learning students and it shows again how unreliable the Belize Social Security is.
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