OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Mathematics Education Trust, Assam (META) came into existence in June, 2004 at the initiative of a group of likeminded people engaged in promotion of mathematics education in the North-east region of the country. These individuals have been involved in various activities like Mathematics Training and Talent Search (MT&TS) Programme of NBHM, Mathematics Olympiad and other voluntary training programmes in this region for the last several years. The experience of these activities suggests that there is a conspicuous gap between the students of this region and the rest of the country in terms of the level of quality and maturity. Therefore, it is felt that unless some special attention is given externally and from a much lower level, there is hardly any hope for improvement of mathematics education in this region only through formal education.
As a result, the trust was formally formed with the following objectives:
1. To organize workshops, seminars and such other activities for improving the awareness and standard of mathematics education in this region.
2. To encourage young and committed school and college teachers to act as disseminators of the cause of quality mathematics education.
3. To develop educational aids and techniques relevant to the specific scenario prevalent in this region.
4. To support promising and needy students of mathematics by providing them financial assistance to pursue their studies.
5. To support and provide financial aid and expertise to other centres or institutions to take up activities and programmes in accordance with the stated objectives.
The core of the Trust is the Board of Trustees, currently having the following members as trustees:
Prof. Tarakeswar Choudhary, Head, Department of Mathematics, Arunachal University, Itanagar.
Prof. Nanda Ram Das, Department of Mathematics, Gauhati University, Guwahati.
Dr. Meenaxi Bhattacharjee, Department of Mathematics, University of Wurzburg, Germany.
Dr. Swaroop Nandan Bora, Department of Mathematics, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati.
Dr. Bhaba Kumar Sarma (Managing Trustee), Department of Mathematics, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati.
To plan and carry out its various activities, the Trust has a Programme Committee comprising of fifteen members nominated by the Board of Trustees drawn from different parts of this region (presently all are from the state of Assam). The members of this committee are dedicated teachers who are involved in various voluntary activities for promotion of mathematics and science education in this region. These are some of the people who feel concerned at the present scenario of mathematics education and are ready to work towards its improvement.
The Trust started its academic activities in July, 2005 with a series of weeklong workshops for high school and college students at various locations in Assam. Till now the following programmes have been held:
1. July 4-10, 2005, Darrang College, Tezpur
(For High School Students of Sonitpur District)
Local Coordinator: Mr. Ram Charan Deka
2. July 12-17, 2005, Birjhora Mahavidyalay, Bongaigaon
(For High School Students of Bongaigaon District)
Local Coordinator: Mr. Birabrata Das Choudhuri
3. September 18-24, 2005, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh
(For Students of Colleges under Dibrugarh University)
Local Coordinator: Dr. Surajit Borkotokey
4. December 19-25, 2005, Gurdon Govt. H.S. School, Nalbari
(For High School Students of Nalbari District)
Local Coordinator: Mr. Diganta Sharmah
Each of the above programmes had 35-40 participants drawn from different institutions of those regions including a number of teacher participants. The workshops were of interactive nature where the participants were exposed to the fundamentals of modern mathematics and to the excitement of solving problems. This unconventional type of learning was very productive and generated a lot of enthusiasm among the student- and teacher participants.
The Trust has been organizing its current activities through the individual contributions of the Trustees and some well-wishers. However, considering the objectives of the Trust, the Board of Trustees feels the need for seeking financial help from corporate, organizations and individuals. The expenditure incurred in each of the programmes held till date, which include those for providing the participants food, lodging and other workshop materials, on the average, comes out to be around Rs. 20,000/-.
The Trust plans to expand its activities in conformation to its objectives. While continuing with organizing workshops for students at district level, the Trust plans to organize follow up programmes centrally for the bright students spotted during its district level workshops. The last Programme Committee meeting held on 17/04/2006 resolved to organize six weeklong workshops, five school-level and one college-level, at different places of Assam and two central programmes at Guwahati during 2006-2007. The Trust also envisages to plan towards its other objectives in near future.
(updated in December, 2005)