Pupils to compete internationally

Benjamin Kleyn is in Grade 12 at Parel Vallei High School.

A group of teenagers will represent South Africa at two international competitions and two of them are pupils at Parel Vallei High School in Somerset West.

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) last week announced the two teams representing South Africa at two international mathematics competitions later this year.

Benjamin Kleyn in Grade 12 and Jared Slater in Grade 11, both from Parel Vallei High School, will respectively travel to Norway and Morocco as part of the international teams.

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) will take place from Wednesday July 6 to Saturday July 16, in Oslo, Norway, while the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) will take place from Sunday June 19 to Tuesday June 28, in Benguerir, Morocco. Benjamin forms part of the IMO and Jared part of the PAMO.

Benjamin has also been selected as part of the South African team to participate in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2022) competition in Indonesia in August. In 2021 he was one of the Top 20 pupils in the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) olympiad, after competing with 1 300 other pupils.

Teams will travel to the locations for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IMO team leader Dr Liam Baker, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University and IMO and PAMO alumnus, explains how the SAMF selects the teams.

“We invited the top-performing contestants of the 2021 Old Mutual South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) to a training camp in December. After the camp, learners must continue with their training by submitting monthly assignments to be considered for the final selection training camp in April.”

The SAMO, including South Africa’s participation in the IMO and PAMO, is sponsored by Old Mutual and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and organised by the SAMF.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of all the learners participating in this year’s IMO and PAMO,” says Celiwe Ross, human capital director at Old Mutual.

“At Old Mutual, we believe that education is the foundation for success in life, and we hope that all this year’s participants find value in this amazing learning opportunity. All the best, and continue to fly the SA flag high.”

Professor Kerstin Jordaan, the executive director at the SAMF, says that she is proud of the pupils in this year’s teams. “To be selected for the international teams is one of the highlights of participation in the SAMO.

“It takes years of preparation, starting with participating in the Nestlé Nespray South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) when in Grade 4. On behalf of the SAMF, I thank these learners for their hard work and dedication. We also acknowledge their teachers and parents for their roles in these youngsters’ mathematical achievements. We wish them the best of luck.”

Jared Slater, in Grade 11, will travel to Morocco next month to compete in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad.