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Hong Kong schools

In first for Hong Kong, primary school pupils strike gold at international maths competition

Four pupils from Anglican schools return to Hong Kong after winning team and individual events

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 7:10pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 10:47pm

In a first, a Hong Kong primary school team received the highest honour in the annual International Mathematics Competition, with four students winning gold medals and the overall championship.

“The level of the contest is quite high. Even some university students would have trouble working on the problems,” said Chau Sui-chung, leader of the winning team and principal of SKH St Andrew’s Primary School.

The competition was held in the Indian city of Lucknow, with 72 teams from 26 countries taking part.

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First held in 2003, the competition has been hosted by the likes of Thailand, Philippines and South Korea. It provides a platform for mathematics lovers to participate in the competition and meet new friends with an interest in maths.

There are two categories involving individuals and teams. Each competitor in the individual category needs to solve 15 problems within 90 minutes. In the other category, each team of four students needs to discuss and solve 10 problems within one hour.

Hong Kong team members struck gold in both categories.

Based on the results of local competitions, the Professional Teachers’ Union selected two four-member teams comprising pupils from the Diocesan Boys’ School and Sheng Kung Hui institutions run by the Anglican Primary Schools Council, which went on to win gold.

“I have participated in this contest several times and I enjoy the cooperation with teammates as well as making new friends,” gold medal winner Yiu Chun-hei, 11, said on his return to the city on Tuesday.

Students participating in the contest were trained in problem solving for three hours two to three days a week.

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“Success depends on the pupils themselves, who are inspired by their interest, talent and hard work,” Anglican council chief administrator Tse Chun-keung said.

Tse said they had to deal with several difficulties, including complicated visa procedures as well as poor hygiene and living conditions in India.

“The organiser arranged dormitories for our pupils, but we booked hotel rooms for them as the hygiene conditions were below our expectations,” he said.

But Chau said the students had no problem adjusting to conditions in India.