|Message ||A SCHOOLBOY known to his classmates as “the human calculator” has beaten 250,000 pupils in a maths exam.
Qasim Salahuddin, 11, who is a Year 6 pupil at Noor Ul Islam Primary School in Dawlish Road, Leyton, reached the top six per cent in a nationwide exam.
Qasim, who was one of the youngest participants, received a gold certificate in the UK Mathematics Trust Intermediate Challenge.
The boy’s father Asif, who works as a software engineer, said his son beats him when they race each other to solve maths problems.
Mr Salahuddin, 41, said: “He has always been very good at solving puzzles and has an amazing memory. My mother used to buy him 3D jigsaws when he was a toddler and he could solve them and he can solve a Rubik’s cube in three minutes.
“When he first started school the teachers recognised his ability and now he does maths on his own because he is ahead of the class and he would get bored.
“But he is a just like every other kid. He loves mucking around with his brother and they go wrestling together.”
Qasim’s next big challenge is to start secondary school in September. Although his parents are considering putting him though GCSEs next year and then A levels soon after, they are reluctant to rush him into university.
Mr Salahuddin said: “I am already asking the school if he can sit his GCSEs next year and then I don’t want him to be sitting around waiting for his A levels so he will do that after.
“But we don’t want him to be an outsider and miss out on growing up. If he went into university years ahead of his friends he would miss out and we are not out to prove anything so we will leave it up to him and see what he’s comfortable with.
“I don’t want him to get carried away and get big-headed. I want to build his all-round character as well and see him have a social life. I would like him to do something he loves for a career.”
Head teacher at Noor Ul Islam Primary School, Majid Ishaque, said staff have worked to challenge Qasim who he described as “gifted in maths”. Mr Ishaque said: “We are all extremely proud of his achievements.”
Qasim has now set his sights on the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad which sees the top-scoring pupils in the country battle it out to be crowned winner.