LITTLE THINGS

Something’s not working. It shows up again in the picky detail of an ad about Bermuda’s First Mathematics Olympiad.

            The Olympiad is a Mathematics competition set by a Canadian team. It seems that every child in Bermuda, publicly educated, privately educated, or home school educated, was eligible to enter. It appears that the age-range for participants was 10 – 17. That’s eight age cohorts.

            Bermuda has about 6,500 youngsters in that age band. Of these, roughly 35% – that’s about 2,300 – are in some kind of private or home schooling. The remainder, about 4,200 are in the public system.

            The public system has fifteen primary schools, five Middle schools, and two High schools. The private education system has the statistical equivalent of three primary schools, two middle schools, and one High school.

            Why, then, did private schools have such a huge proportion of the named ‘winners’?

            Outnumbered and outspent, why did the private schools a [40%] minority have such a huge [74%] majority of the thirty-eight named ‘winners’?

            Saltus Grammar School – ten.

            Warwick Academy – eight.

            Cedarbridge – seven.

            Somersfield Academy – four.

            Bermuda High School – two.

            Sandys Secondary Middle School – two.

            Downe House School, UK – not a Bermuda school – two.

            Bermuda Institute and another – overseas – UK school – one each.

            Clearwater Middle School – one.

            In the 15 – 17 age group, Berkeley Institute did not place at all. In the 13 – 14 age group, Dellwood Middle, Spice Valley Middle, and Whitney Institute Middle – all public schools – did not place at all.  In the 10 – 12 age group, there were no names – at all – from any of the fifteen public primary schools.  Mount St Agnes Academy, with pupils in all three age-bands, is not mentioned.

            Cedarbridge’s seven shows what can be done.

            Where are the rest? What didn’t happen?

 [By the way… the ad said:  Top 13 winners. Ages 10 -12.   But only 12 names.] 

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