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The one with the least mark had 91 per cent while the highest mark was 98 per cent in both senior and junior categories. Each of these 20 youngsters has every claim to the title of Maths Whizkid
"The one with the least mark had 91 per cent while the highest mark was 98 per cent in both senior and junior categories. Each of these 20 youngsters has every claim to the title of Maths Whizkid."
This was the assertion on almost every lip at the Prize Giving Ceremony of the Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) held recently at Nicon Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
For 14-year old Mbanaja C. Stanley of Pacesetters International College, Oyigbo, Rivers State, the N100,000 bait was more than enough incentive for him to work hard for the competition. And his commitment paid off in the end as he smiled home with the star prize. His teacher also smiled home with N10,000 cash with a Riso Digital Printer and Mathematics textbooks for the school.
Obiukwu Obinna Michael of Federal Government College, Nise, Anambra State had every cause to be happy too, having emerged the winner in the senior category of the competition. His mother and teacher’s constant drilling and encouragement in Mathematics were worth it after all. He also smiled home with N130,000.
The runners–up in the junior category, Obiakor Everistus of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, with 97 per cent and Bankole Oluwaseye Daniel of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State with 96 per cent went home with N75,000 and N50,000 respectively.
For the runners–up in the Senior Category, Adenuga Mimisoluwa of Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt with 97 per cent and Gyang Samuel Dadung of Baptist High School, Jos with 96 per cent, they were made N100,000 and N75,000 richer, courtesy Cowbell Milk, from the stable of Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
The remaining finalists were also rewarded with N10,000, a medal and plaque each, along with their teachers.
Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt got the Benson Oweka Memorial Prize, which goes to the school with the consistent outstanding performance average over the last three years (2002-4). The school went home with a full Multi-media Computer, UPS and Printer.
NASSMAC has no doubt become a reference point in schools and among students. School authorities now go the extra mile of coaching students especially for the competition. And for some that are enticed by the mouth-watering prizes, rather than get it legitimately have resorted to sharp practices, to win by hook or crook.
Officials of the company revealed that some schools have been blacklisted from the competition due to sharp practices of hiring over-aged students and mercenaries to write the exams for their schools.
The competition in its five year existence is already fulfilling its objectives as students and teachers now have a heightened consciousness about the subject, Mathematics. Past winners from the competition have gone ahead to emerge with best results in NECO, WAEC and JAMB.
According to Mr. Ken Hall, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Cowbell NASSMAC was conceived in 1998 to address the problems associated with Mathematics.
"Cowbell Milk started the sponsorship of this competition way back in 1998 to reverse the current failure trend by re-awakening a consciousness and interest for Mathematics among Nigerian secondary school students. And to create a credible medium for identifying and encouraging brilliance."
Prof. Sam Ale, Director of the National Mathematics Centre, Abuja and Mr. M.A. Akingbade, Deputy Director in charge of Secondary Schools at the Federal Ministry of Education, who represented the Minister for Education, were both full of praises for the company’s sponsorship of the Mathematics Competition. While they reiterated the significant role that Mathematics play in the technological development of any nation, they also used the occasion to highlight some of the efforts of the government in boosting performance in Mathematics.
Other important guests on the occasion included Mr. Chris Ehimen, National Marketing Manager, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Hajiya Rabiu Hawalu, who represented her husband, the Executive Director of Education, FCT and Mr. Biodun Layonu, solicitor to Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
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