The Rural Mathematics Talent Search Examination (RMTS)  is meant to identify and support promising youngsters in rural areas of Orissa to achieve excellence in Mathematics. As of 2005, roughly there are 800 thousand students in class six in Orissa. The exam is administered by the govrnment-supported Institute of Mathematics and Applications in Bhubaneswar, and is supported financially and organizationally by a network of volunteers, and donors in Orissa and abroad. A lot of details about this competition can be found here .

 

The exam was held two days ago on September 25th throughout Orissa. An unprecedented number of students (a jump from 1500 last year to about 4500 this year) was observed. Participants and test centers were located in all districts except Boudh (we would like to encourage volunteers from or connected to Boudh to form a center the coming year).

 

This is what a SEEDS member Dhanada Mishra, who is the principal of JITM, says about the event at his campus:  “It was really nice to have had the opportunity to host about 170 sixth grader from some of our most under-privileged rural schools from interiors of Gajapati districts. These children showed up on our campus last Sunday early in the morning with their parents/teachers and had a ball going around the place. The test itself was scheduled at 10 AM for 2.5 hours and was administered by our math teachers and others who volunteered their time on a Sunday. We served some simple lunch to all our guests. The children made the campus come alive with their presence and spent some time after the test exploring our vast mangoe orchards, class rooms, labs and workshops. I could see their excitement and would hope that many of them would have made a silent resolve to re-double their efforts to excel at studies.”

 

One of  our RMTS project coordinators and SEEDS member Sandip Dasverma is ecstatic that the effort of a small band of supporters here in North America has yielded participation of over 1000 students from various rural areas to help make RMTS a real force of change and source of excitement for rural 6th graders. Of course this is also a testament to our collective strength and the potential of digital communication in enabling and empowering of the masses.

 

Prof. S. Mohanty said “Its impact is long range and it is a peaceful movement that will transform

the society in a very positive way. It is a modest way of overhauling the educational
system, bringing the underprivileged class into main stream, training
the potential professionals, researchers and leaders, and inducing a
ray of hope and a dream of the future in young boys and girls.
Friends, please join the movement and make it grow. It does not cost
anything. You have just to spread the words in rural schools in your
area so that the teachers encourage class 6 boys and girls to appear
the yearly contest held by the Institute of Mathematics and
Applications, Bhubaneswar. The exam will be conducted in a neighbouring
area. They do not have to go to Bhubaneswar. Why not you provide a
young boy/girl from your village to be part of the dream?”

 

If you would like to discuss this or want to know how you can help with RMTS and other educational initiatives, please send your thoughts to seedsnet@yahoogroups.com .

 

--Priyadarsan

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