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Visually-impaired student joins elimination round of the 2012 Metrobank Math Challenge

For the first time in 11 years of the Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC), a visually-impaired student from Sarangani Province tops one of its nationwide eliminations last January 18, 2012. Steven Valdepeñas of Alabel Central Integrated SPED Center topped the eliminations for the Grade 6 competition among the 15 takers in the District of East Alabel for the DepEd Division of Sarangani Province. He is one of the top placers among 234 students from 78 schools in the entire Division. Steven is diagnosed to have a congenital glaucoma. Despite his circumstance, Steven excels in all subjects and Mathematics is his most favorite. In fact, Steven has won several Mathematics competitions at school and district levels including a championship award at the division level of the Mathematics Quiz Bee.

The MMC questionnaires were translated into Braille by noted SPED Teacher and 2001 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher, Ms. Evelyn Caja of Ramon Magsaysay High School. This is in order for Steven to solve the set of Math problems. He was asked to read the questions in Braille first before answering then the Proctor verified it if it is the same with the set of original questions.  

“The participation of a visually-impaired pupil named Steven from Sarangani in the 2012 Metrobank Math Challenge is remarkable and is something we ardently embrace. It tells us that no disability can hinder one’s excellence and that we continue to achieve the competition’s objective in awakening greater interest in Math not only in ordinary students, but also for those who have special needs. Let Steven be our inspiration in realizing our dreams “said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña.  

More than half a million elementary and high school students from different public and private schools nationwide participated in this year’s elimination rounds held during the third week of January. Those who passed the eliminations will proceed to the Division Finals on February 16 and 17, 2012 which will be participated in by a total of 200 DepEd Divisions nationwide. 

Now on its 11th year, the Metrobank Math Challenge is an annual math competition that aims to discover Mathematical talents among the youth. Previously conducted in the National Capital Region, the Metrobank Math Challenge was expanded to include elementary and high school students nationwide starting in 2001. It is being organized by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP), and the Department of Education (DepEd) and supported by the Metrobank Fun Savers Club. The annual Math Challenge produces national winners who get to compete and eventually win in international competitions. Among them is Carmela S. Lao, first placer in the Individual Category for 4th Year of the 2011 Metrobank Math Challenge, who reaped a silver medal in the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), the first Filipina to do so and the country’s second silver medal after 20 years.
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The Metrobank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, was established by its chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty in 1979. With the theme “Excel. Engage. Empower.” the Foundation has promoted a culture of excellence among Filipinos through its various programs, such as the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE), the Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), the Search for the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS), the Metrobank Math Challenge (MMC), College Scholarship Program (CSP) and Excellence in Judiciary Program (EJP). It also supports social development projects through like-minded organizations that have sought to uplift the lives of the disadvantaged groups and marginalized sectors in the society. “Converging to Inspire Change!” serves as the battlecry of the Foundation this year.  After 33 years, it shall continue to uphold values of excellence and champion its chosen stakeholders and the rest of our communities. It aims to strength ties with institutional partners in both public and private sectors such that there will always be a venue to further honor those who are able to reach their highest potential. Today, the Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to remain a leader in corporate social responsibility by initiating and supporting leading edge programs that uplift the lives of our people and inspire the best in the Filipinos.