Briones leads awarding of 2018 Metrobank Math Challenge champions

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones led the conferment of winners of the 2018 Metrobank – Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) – DepEd Math Challenge (MMC) National Finals held on March 24 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium in Makati City.

Joining the Education chief in the awarding ceremony were Metrobank Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Nicanor Torres Jr.; MTAP President Sr. Iluminada Coronel, FMM; Metrobank Foundation Trustee Elvira Ong-Chan; and DepEd Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) Director Jocelyn Andaya.

First place winners for the individual competition were Sean Neyers Gungon from Renato Lopez Elementary School in Mandaluyong City for Grade 6, and Dion Stephan Ong from Ateneo de Manila Junior High School in Quezon City for Grade 10.

Meanwhile, team competition first placers were Christopher James Yap and Christian Jacob Yap from St. John’s Institute in Bacolod City for Grade 6, and Andres Rico Gonzales III and Alec Nowell Ranara from Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila for Grade 10.

Out of the 574,823 learners who competed in the nationwide elimination rounds which started in January 2018, 48 learners representing 30 public and private schools have successfully advanced to the final leg of the competition.

“I'm so delighted that the individual winner for elementary is from the public school, a good number of them made it. And also, of course, the continuous strength of the private schools in the field of Mathematics,” Briones shared when she delivered her inspirational message as the guest of honor.

The Education Secretary also encouraged all schools to initiate the re-imaging of Math wizards, “Perhaps in our schools, we should also campaign to put up our Math champions as idols, just as basketball players are idols, just as our singers in our schools and dancers in our schools are idols. Because they deserve to be idolized, just like all other kids”.

The national finalists solved complex mathematical problems mentally within 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and one minute. They sent their answers directly to the judges through tablet computers. The top three winners in each category were awarded with trophies, medals, cash prizes, and educational subsidies through their Metrobank Fun Savers Club savings account. They also received giveaways from sponsors including Casio Philippines, Manila Tytana Colleges, Philippine Science Centrum, Active Fun Children’s Play and Party Centers, Tom’s World, and Money Tree. Other cooperating institutions included PSBank, Itemhound, and City Garden Hotel – Makati.

Now on its 17th year, MMC is the most widely-participated Math competition in the country among elementary and secondary school learners. It has produced Math wizards who competed and won in international competitions such as the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad in Hong Kong where the Philippines garnered its first gold medals.

In conclusion, Briones reiterated the importance of Mathematics in the citizens’ day-to-day living, and to the country’s development.

“We have to have learners and citizens who will think rationally, who will analyze carefully, who will look for solutions in addition, of course, to making criticisms, who will look at all sides of a problem, before jumping into very irrational, illogical conclusions. Math teaches us that.”