Multiplication table all sewn up in school uniform

School uniforms made in Gomel — with crib sheets!
By Tatiana Karpenskaya

At first sight, teachers won’t know that pupils’ uniforms hide a trick, being well hidden. Tatiana Litvinovich, the Deputy Director General for Commercial Affairs at Comintern Factory tells us, “Multiplication tables are sewn into the lining of boys’ jackets in classes 1 to 4 — on a cheat sheet, sized 6 x 6cm.”

Children love the idea. “Great,” laughs Anton Lashkin, in 3B grade, at school #59 in Gomel. “However, I’ve already learnt my multiplication tables, so this jacket won’t really help me. I’d feel more confident wearing it during a maths test though.” Nadezhda, Anton’s mother, also likes the idea, saying, “I’d buy my son this uniform. Dressing for school, he’d be able to practise, for example, 5x6. Those yet to learn their tables would be able to practise by looking at the sheet. They won’t have to learn a column each day, as my Anton did.”

It’s interesting to know what teachers think, since crib sheets are forbidden at school. Of course, pupils would be prohibited from wearing the jackets for tests. “Children probably won’t pay much attention to it,” smiles Galina Poluden, headteacher of primary classes at gymnasium #23 in Minsk. “I only look at the lining when I’m buying a garment, so it’s unlikely that a pupil will remove their jacket during a test just to look at 2x2. It would be too noticeable.”

“Pens, rulers and notebooks with multiplication tables have been produced for a long time; by third grade, pupils have already learnt them,” smiles Lyubov Yeremina, a teacher at primary school #25 in Brest. “It’s more likely to amuse children than teach them to cheat.”
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