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No More MTAP for Raymund
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MTAP) is a countrywide, interschool competition participated on by grade schoolers considered as Math wizards. The competition for the district level is usually held yearly on the month of January. Winners in the district level try to compete for the regional, then the winner in Grade VI level will be the representative for the National level.( I think that's how it goes).

For the past three years since Raymund was in Grade 1, he had been representing his school in MTAP competitions annually. He and his friends (three representatives per level) always made it to the finals every year. They we're best friends .....good performance together.

MTAP training in Raymund's school starts as early as 6 months before the scheduled competition. These trainings are done after class hours and on Saturdays. Picking him up from training on weekdays and bringing him back on Saturdays became our problem.

The school is 16 kilometers away from our house. By car, the ride is around 45 minutes considering the traffic that goes with travelling around the city. If one is to commute, by bus or jeepney, that will be around 1 1/2 hour ride from our home. Yes, we know from the start since our kid started schooling 7 years ago that the school is a bit far, that daily trips would be difficult. But we also know that our child is exceptional and we wanted the best school for him.

Raymund's dad brings him to school together with his brother in the morning then he goes to his clinic on his way back to attend to his patients. He then picks up Raymund from school after his class from a nearby university in the afternoons. With frequent changes in schedule brought about by MTAP trainings, pick up time becomes unpredictable leading to lots of problems.

Most of the time, Raymund's dad who was already busy with his work and schedules, failed to pick up his son from school on time. Raymund, already exhausted physically and mentally from the day's school work, often has no option but to commute. He then suffered from frequent headaches, cough, and colds. His immune system bogged down. With his health going down so too with his performance in school.

Some of our friends, mostly doctors, suggested to us to let Raymund rest from some of his school activities. They also suggested to give him enough time to play. Too much studying with no play is bad for a growing child, so they say.

When school ended last year, Raymund was able to regain his health during the vacation. He had lots of exercise by working out in Garciano Kilat Serrada. He had lots of time to visit new places, to gain new friends, and lots of time to play. But we decided not to let him join MTAP this school year. We don't want our child getting frequent illnesses again. We don't want to push him to the limit anymore. We don't want to grab from his youth the opportunity to play and to enjoy life. We had our lessons to learn. There is always next time, maybe next year, it's not too late.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 1:55 PM   8 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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Copyright © 2006-2008 Amelyn R. Rafael,MD, All rights reserved.

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