Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 28 May 2020

Dubai student drums up support for education games

A young student is encouraging other children to participate in a global maths, literacy and science competition to help provide education to the less fortunate.
Maathangi Anirudh, 11, gets in some practice for the World Education Games. The Dubai pupil will be one of 5 million youngsters from across the globe competing in the free online Unicef-backed contest that starts on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National
Maathangi Anirudh, 11, gets in some practice for the World Education Games. The Dubai pupil will be one of 5 million youngsters from across the globe competing in the free online Unicef-backed contest that starts on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // An 11-year-old girl is encouraging other children to participate in a global maths, literacy and science competition to help provide education to the less fortunate.

Maathangi Anirudh, from the Millennium School, Dubai, will pit her skills against five million pupils from 200 other countries and regions this week in the World Education Games (Weg) – described as the largest online education competition.

“The more points we earn, the more underprivileged children we can help because every point will be converted into getting them school supplies,” said Maathangi, selected as the Weg ambassador for the region. She is also a Dubai Expo 2020 youth ambassador.

“Many children are not as lucky as we are to study in schools with good facilities.

“The best thing is you do not need to put in extra effort because you are tested on what you are already studying in school.

“It’s to make learning fun because you will be competing with children from anywhere in the globe.”

The games are free for pupils ages 4 to 18 years and will be held online from Tuesday to Thursday.

More than 60,000 pupils in the UAE participated in the 2013 games and several placed in the top 10 slots in different age categories, according to 3P Learning, the online learning company that organised the games.

Australia recorded the highest number of participants that year, with 1.9 million pupils.

A pupil from a Pakistan school scored the highest points, with 5,177 correct answers.

The United Nations children’s fund partnered the games five years ago.

To date, more than 100,000 pupils have been supported by Weg and Unicef.

Every correct answer a pupil gives is converted into points and added up to provide educational kits to developing countries.

The “school-in-a-box” has sufficient basic learning resources, such as notebooks, crayons and textbooks, for a teacher and 80 students.

“It promotes education, the bare minimum necessity for every child, and does not cost anything,” said Arushi Madan, 16, a pupil at Delhi Private School, Sharjah, who recently won the International Diana Award.

The award is presented in memory of the late British princess Diana for her contribution to environmental protection.

“I want to participate to show solidarity,” said Arushi. “Maths and science are important as you grow up and literacy is needed for communication.

“Whether you take engineering or medical studies, you use these skills day-to-day and it sharpens your mind.”

The challenge, which is held over three days, gives pupils an opportunity to see how they measure up against the world’s best.

A live digital hall of fame will track top-scoring pupils and display their names.

“Initiatives such as these provide a platform for students across the globe to engage with children in other countries,” said Bala Sadasivan, Maathangi’s teacher from Millennium school.

“As it’s online and free it is an opportunity for children of all countries to participate at an international level.”

This year’s contest is the first since the games became a biennial event two years ago. Participants can register at www.worldeducationgames.com

rtalwar@thenational.ae

Updated: October 10, 2015 04:00 AM

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