Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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20/2/12: handling money

Again waking up at the crack of dawn - or before, actually!  Although starting work at 5am. gives a useful separation between marking assignments for the University of Reading before then going on the Campus later on.

Pleasant walk, including through the Campus itself.  Getting ready for workshops and meeting with colleagues about the future of the Reading / Jamaica collaboration - watch this space!

However, the main thing on my mind is money.  There are 130 Jamaican dollars to the pound, so one dollar is worth about 0.7 pence.  I was in the middle of a class for teachers last year about 1/2 way through the visit, having been here before so a total of 10 days already in the country .  I was talking about calculations with decimals, and said, "Of course, Jamaican dollars don't subdivide into cents" to then be told that, actually, they do.  Now that I'm shopping in supermarkets it's not possible to avoid knowing that there are 10 and 25 cent coins, worth about 0.07 and 0.17 pence each - yes, I am getting the decimals right here!

However, what seems even stranger is that the till gives the total price in a form such as so many dollars and 29 cents.  But it's not possible to pay 29 cents, the smallest coin is 10 cents.  Haven't quite worked out how the rounding works, but the net effect is that I end up with a pocketful of very low value coins which are then quite difficult to spend.  Partly what is going on here is hat General Consumption Tax (GCT, equivalent to VAT) at 17.5% is added at the till rather than on the advertised prices.

I enquired as to what people do with these small coins, Marcia tells me that her church collects them to pay for youth work projects.  So that solves that problem, I'll give them to Marcia before I leave - although I think I'll put in a note as well, not sure I can bring myself to give just a few pence.  But - surely it costs more to mint these coins than they're worth?

4 Comments to 20/2/12: handling money:

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Topaz Berlin on 23 February 2012 16:57
Don't worry Geoff I know it is hard to adjust but you eventually will. Most High schools are now on mid-term holidays but will re-open next week, so when I return to school i will plan the visit with my headmaster.But let me know what would you like to do when you get there.I also hope the others will do the same. Have you heard from the others yet?
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Pete Tennant on 25 February 2012 12:12
Been (extreme) fishing yet?
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Carolyn Tennant on 25 February 2012 13:14
Enjoying your story and pictures but who said we all wanted Mathematics?!
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Bonanza Tips on 12 March 2013 00:42
All the efforts you put in the blog post is appreciable. Entire blog is informative. Looking forward to read more blogs and contents from you. Wish you luck!
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Jamaica trip 2012
Return to the UK 2017
Tanzania 2013
Tanzania 2014
Tanzania 2015
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