SIBU: Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) and ACCA Malaysia jointly organised a SPM Mathematics Online Exam Technique Workshop on Nov 28 from 8am to 11am.
The workshop, approved by Ministry of Education (MoE) Malaysia and State Education Department (JPNS), was conducted by the former Excellent Mathematics Teacher of DG52 Tan Beng Puai.
She was also the Selangor State innovation teacher in 2013 and has until now 31 years of teaching experience. Tan is now senior assistant teacher of SMK Pulau Ketam.
The purpose of the online workshop was to allow the experienced mathematics teacher to share with SPM Form 5 students her unique and effective exam techniques so the students could perform well in the coming SPM examination.
The workshop was attended by about 130 teachers and PPD officers and over 3,000 students from 67 schools from Sarawak and Sabah.
Hii King Kai, MPI principal, in his welcoming speech, emphasised that Mathematics was important because the world ran on computers and all were connected via the digital networks.
He explained that was why people needed mathematical logic and computer programmes were basically mathematical logics.
Hii further elaborated, “That’s why we call computers “computers.” Most of the subjects that we take in schools are teaching us what to think, but it is Maths that trains you how to think.
“Many researches have confirmed that learning Mathematics will make you a smarter person and more productive in your work because you will be able to solve problems better.
“So when you improve on your mathematical logic, I strongly believe that your learning of the other subjects will also improve.”
State Education Department deputy director for education sector Dr Les Met officiated at the opening of the event.
Les asked the students to ponder on the importance of the knowledge and skills of Mathematics for them in future.
“What will happen to our students if they cannot do well in Mathematics? What will happen to our economy, technology and the development of our state and nation, which will very much depend on our mathematical knowledge and skills?
“At the moment, we are actually struggling to get more students to enroll in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). We hope that whatever activities we do, be it competition, quiz or workshop, can improve the performance of our students in Mathematics.”
Dr Les stated that Mathematics was no longer a simple and solitary subject.
Instead, it was integration into multiple aspects of everyday life in the 21st Century.
“Now critical and creative thinking is the fundamental skill for the future and it can be learned through Mathematics so that’s why Mathematics is so important.
“In schools, students need to learn Mathematics. If you want to be good in Mathematics, you have to like it. After all, it is part of our curriculum.
“If you love and enjoy doing Mathematics, I believe you will prosper and get good results and do well in it.
“To our teachers, when we teach our students, we have to do it with our heart and mind. Then our students will perform better in Mathematics. Teaching Mathematics also needs creativity and I believe our teachers have the skills and knowledge to do that.”
Les also went on to explain with a few examples why Mathematics was so important in our daily lives.
“One, Mathematics is good for our brains as the brains have billions of neuron cells, which need to be activated every day, every second, and if we are to activate those neurons, we need Mathematics.
“Mathematics helps us with our finance. Many people in the world are facing problems with money. That’s why finance literacy is incorporated in the KSSR as early as in year 1 to ensure that our students learn Mathematics and financial knowledge together so that they will be able to address their financial problems in their future.
“Besides, if people are good in Mathematics, they have greater career options. Every career actually needs Mathematics, be it in the field of finance, business, science and technology, and Medicine. Last but not least, Mathematics helps us understand the world – the place that we live in — better, predict the future, and can be used to understand the entire universe.
Quoting from a book written by Steven Hawking, scientist and physicist, Les added, “Using mathematical theory, he can predict how to survive in the future. He even asks big questions, like for instance, is time travel possible? Should we colonise space? Will we survive on earth? So these are the big questions asked by Steven Hawking in the book “Brief Answers to Big Questions. So it is all about Mathematics.”