A Real Test of Mental Ability
By Agnes E. Fonkeng
The management of the Cameroon Education Corporation has announced a Mental Arithmetic Competition for Cameroon’s school-age pupils. According to the official press release, “competition is one sure way of testing one’s ability. Usually, it becomes more effective when participants are competing in a friendly environment and are given incentives to boost their morale. It is for this reason that the Cameroon Education Corporation (CEC) is organising a mental arithmetic competition as an additional academic component of the Spelling Bee Contest, which started in June 2003 and is now held once a year.”
The contest which aims at increasing pupil’s ability to think and calculate fast without recourse to man made calculators will take place on Saturday, November 24, 2007 at the CRC Remedial Nursery and Primary School campus at 10:00 GMT. This will be one hour before the Spelling Bee competition, and will have as cash prices 25.000FCFA (US$50), 15.000FCFA (US$30) and 10.000FCFA (US$20) for the first three winners; a certificate for the winners and other donated prizes.
According to a communiqué signed by the President of CEC and Organiser, Professor Emeritus Lydia Luma, the Mental Arithmetic Competition will be divided into two phases; part one of which will comprise thirty mental arithmetic items, to be read item-by-item and repeated only once and for which candidates will have thirty minutes to answer. Part two will also have thirty written mental arithmetic question-items to be answered in under thirty minutes, after which, examiners will mark the scripts and results announced immediately.
It is expected that, participants-who must be pupils-will be drawn from primary schools all over Cameroon, and may register as school or as independent candidates. Also, these candidates have as deadline Wednesday, October 31, 2007 to submit their names for the forthcoming competition.
Question for the competition will be drawn from course work, arithmetic textbooks and mental drill books used in and out of Cameroon. The questions will be randomly selected from the Mental Drill Bank and read aloud for contestants to find out answers.
Interested and competent teachers have been urged to send sample of mental arithmetic question papers or items to The President of CEC, P.O Box 332, Buea, South West Province, Cameroon and receive a handsome reward. The press statement indicates a registration fee of 5000 FCFA (US$10) for independent candidates, while two candidates per school will pay 5000 FCFA (US$10) as well.
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