Increase Student Interest in Math and Science

Kompas, page 12

The International Mathematics and Science Olympiad is held again in Indonesia.  Such global level competitions are deemed able to increase students’ interest in math and science.  Organizing Chairman of the Mathematics and Science International Olympics (IMSO) 2016, Ridwan Hasan said the event is the world’s biggest math and science competition. This event was first initiated in Indonesia with the goal to increase primary school (SD) student interest in the subjects of Mathematics and Science. The two subjects have long been regarded as a scourge because they are considered difficult.

According to Ridwan, the biggest obstacle is the way of teaching Mathematics and Science in schools. Ever since primary school, the system applied is usually that of memorizing theories or formulas. As a result, students do not understand the close (relationship) of Mathematics and Science with everyday life.

A similar opinion was expressed by tutor of the Philippine contingent, Renard Eric Chau, who when in primary school took part in IMSO. According to him, the first thing to be changed is the approach of these two subjects in school to become more fun and down to earth. He said Mathematics and Science are close with people’s daily lives, no matter what kind of work they do. If students realize it, Math and Science would be felt much friendlier.

The second step, according to Renard is to make practical steps in learning. He observed the curriculum of Mathematics and Science in Asia so far relies too much on textbooks. When actually, the material of the two subjects is greatly scattered in nature.

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