The 17th Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad, the biggest math competition in the country, began at St Joseph Higher Secondary School in Dhaka yesterday with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement.
A total of 1,226 students from different schools and colleges across the country are participating in the two-day competition under four groups -- primary, junior, secondary and higher secondary.
Of the participants, from class three to 12, 85 will be awarded in different categories. The awards will be handed over in a ceremony at the same venue today.
Earlier last month, more than 1,400 students were selected for the final competition through a total of 12 regional competitions. This year, for the first time, the Olympiad was held in all 64 districts of the country.
Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad Committee (BdMOC), in association with Bangla daily Prothom Alo and Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), has been organising the event since 2001 to make math more popular among students.
Yesterday, the formalities of the Olympiad began around 9am. Brother Robi Theodore Purification, principal of St Joseph School, along with guests inaugurated the programme through hoisting the national flag and releasing colourful balloons.
Speaking at the event, Prothom Alo Editor and Publisher Matiur Rahman said this year's Olympiad is the biggest competition so far as more than 50,000 students participated in the district level.
Addressing the students, Matiur Rahman said that the youngsters were being moulded so that they could earn more honours for the country on international platforms.
BdMOC President Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury said mathematics is very crucial for higher studies, particularly in the areas of science, technology and engineering.
“Our aim is to strengthen the [students'] base of maths. We have become successful in this regard. Fear of math at school level is mostly gone,” said Choudhury, also a national professor.
DBBL Managing Director Abul Kashem Md Shirin, Prothom Alo associate editors Abdul Quayum and Anisul Hoque, BdMOC Vice-President Dr Munibur Rahman Chowdhury and its General Secretary Munir Hasan, among others, were present at the event.