“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
A pathway to future success has been opened up to 26 young people living in Mayaro and environs through the Adult Mathematics Experience workshop sponsored by BP T&T and held at the Mayaro Resource Centre.
The whole-day sessions, conducted over an intense week of study, provided the young adults with a clear understanding of the often-feared techniques of mathematics.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony last week, valedictorian Rachel Ventour, conveyed the sentiments of her peers: “Due to circumstances in my life I was unable to complete secondary school, but I have always maintained a thirst for knowledge. I have written exams over the years and mathematics has always challenged me but this workshop changed that.
“It was an enriching and eye-opening experience and now my classmates and I have a foundation to go forward and achieve our objective of certification in math. This workshop is a stepping stone toward a brighter future.”
A release from BP said this is the fourth year that bpTT has sponsored the annual workshops conducted in their home community of Mayaro, as well as in Beetham and Tobago, in collaboration with the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The workshops were expanded this year with a class at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, catering for young people in the north-west peninsula.
Ronda Francis, Corporate Responsibility manager, bpTT explained the benefits of the programme: “These workshops provide the second chance that can prove so elusive in the fast-paced school environment.
“Over the years, students who participated in the programme have gone on to achieve success in math at the CSEC, and more advanced levels. The interactive approach to learning removes mental blocks against math and energises the participants to persevere and achieve their full potential.”
Facilitated by training agency Cross and Associates, the training comprises a complete re-introduction to fundamental mathematics principles, including percentages, number systems, decimals, algebra and consumer arithmetic.
The content is delivered through a combination of theoretical lessons and practical applications where participants are given real-life examples of the mathematical principles.
Sharing words of motivation with the students was Andrew Cross, lead consultant, Cross and Associates: “First of all, I want to congratulate all of you on having the energy and conviction to pursue this workshop and achieve success.
“Academic achievement in this community isn’t where it should be. Apart from going on to personal accomplishment, you should also encourage other young people to grasp second opportunities.”
Cross praised bpTT for its initiative in giving young people throughout the country “a second chance” to pursue their studies in a critical subject area.
Certificates of Achievement were presented to participants to mark their success at the workshop.
Congratulations were showered on participant Lafistra Ramlal who achieved a distinction in this year’s CSEC Mathematics exam. “Although I just wrote CSEC, I decided to do this workshop because there were some basic principles that I didn’t have a complete grasp of.
“I’m grateful for my success at the exam, but this workshop will definitely serve me well as I progress in my studies. We are grateful to bpTT for giving us this opportunity to be better,” Ramlal said.