'Spirit of Math' bridging the education gap in Pakistan

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Published: January 16, 2018
Spirit of Math
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Spirit of Math (SoM) is Canada’s largest after-school math enrichment program with over 8500 students and 40 campuses spread across Canada, United States and now Pakistan (Lahore). SoM started classes in Lahore at the end of August 2017 in two locations and will become operational in two additional areas this month. SoM has met the needs of high-performing and gifted students for more than 30 years with its unique elite after-school mathematics enrichment program.

On Monday, January 15, 2018, SoM held a press conference at Pearl Continental in Lahore where the legendary Bushra Ansari announced SoM bursary for 10 high achieving students from grade one to five. These students from underprivileged backgrounds were studying at welfare schools in Lahore. Each student is selected based on two criteria. Firstly, s/he should have a report card average of at least B+. Secondly, s/he should clear the SoM interview process.

Ms. Ansari, an advocate for SoM’s mission, proudly declared that her own granddaughter attends SoM. Ms. Kirsti Langen, academic director for SoM Pakistan, welcomed all attendees and briefed them on the work SoM has been doing in Pakistan. Nathan Langen, the vice president of campus operations, introduced World Mathematical Olympiad (WMO) Pakistan.

This is an upcoming initiative by SoM to select and train high-achieving students nationwide to participate as Team Pakistan at the WMO. Mr. Langen went on to state how in August 2017 SoM trained Team Canada that went on to win gold, silver and bronze awards at the WMO held in Beijing, China. In 2018, the Olympiad will be held at Stanford University in California, USA.

SoM CEO and co-founder, Mrs. Kim Langen, led an engaging panel with Pakistani educators and leaders to discuss crucial skills needed for teachers, parents and students in Pakistan. Additionally, they planned how educators can instil this skill set in each student. These abilities will not only ensure the future success of Pakistan’s youth but will also teach them corporate and citizen responsibility.

The versatile actor and comedian Bushra Ansari summed up the conference in these words: “We have an out-dated education system with an archaic syllabus and method of teaching. So this is something new and incredible. I am thankful to my Canadian friends for bringing SoM to Pakistan. For the sake of our children, we need to make advances in our educational system and apply new methodologies in teaching. We should establish a healthy and nurturing learning environment not just in math, but in other subjects as well.”

 

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