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Kids crunch maths contest

ELEVEN gifted Cambodian students flew out from Phnom Penh yesterday to take part in an international mathematics competition in Hong Kong this week.

The highest-scoring Khmer student is 10-year-old Om Tith Chann Villi, a grade-5 student at iCan British International School.

Before leaving, he said he was extremely hopeful and confident of doing well for his country.

Villi studied with a private tutor for about two hours a day, besides his schoolwork and homework, said his mother Phoeun Chann Vannary.

“Villi has not spent too much time studying because he has worked hard from the beginning and is very confident,” she said.

He had always been able to calculate math problems very quickly and loved to read, said his father Om Vuthy Rith, standing in front of mirrored bookshelves containing dozens of books.

After Villi’s study time each weekday, he had about an hour to chat with relatives or friends, his parents said, while on weekends he played games or used the internet.

“We educate him by encouraging him, and stick notes on the wall that record his highest marks,” said Om Vuthy Rith.

Villi obtained a scholarship to compete in the international proficiency test in maths with students from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

The competition would find the region’s most outstanding students between grades five to 12, said Sok Touch, a director at Khamara University. Cambodia had selected 11 outstanding students from a nationwide field of 70 to compete in the event, he said.

Chan Roth, maths technical advisor at Khamara University, said that medals and cash would be given to winners.

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