Mathematics is a universal ‘language’ used for national development across borders. This is the perspective of a Mathematics teacher from Katsina State, who attended ongoing 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics Television Quiz Show.
A teacher with Government Science Secondary School, Dutsimma, Mallam Almustapha Ahmad explained that the subject is of central importance to modern society because it provides the vital underpinning of the knowledge of economy and forms the basis of most scientific and industrial research and development.
He added that Mathematics is the language of science, technology and other socio-economic development which are universal to the global world of human civilisation. “Mathematics occupies a crucial and unique role in human societies and represents a strategic key in the development of the whole mankind,” he said, while encouraging stakeholders to show more interest in the subject and science education as a whole.
In the preliminary Group A contest last weekend, Ogun State’s representatives grabbed the first batch of semi-final tickets of the competition, which is marking its 20th anniversary. Loluwa Abiodun and Akinfoluhan Akinleye, both of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, scaled through the preliminary hurdles into the semi-finals in the junior category.
The duo shrugged off the challenge from Victor Dimas of Federal Government College, Ugwolawo, Kogi, State; Tobiloba Akinwande of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State; Princewill Olalekan of St Paul Comprehensive Secondary School, Bauchi, Bauchi State; and Ali Uchechukwu Michael of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State.
Akinfoluhan, son of a Banker, scored 95 per cent in the qualifying examination and 150 points to win in the second round. He described the experience as exciting and looked forward to qualifying for the final and wear the crown. “I feel very happy to scale the hurdle, especially being my first time of participating in the competition. I hope to get to the final. I have done a lot of prayers and practice,” he said.
Loluwa, 13, scored 96 per cent in the qualifying examination and got 130 points in the second round. The daughter of a College principal, who aspires to qualify as an Architect, hopes to win the ultimate prize and make her family and state proud.
In the senior category of the competition, sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand from Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Joshua Mark of Nigerian Christian Institute, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; and Nafisat Abdulwaheed of Reality High School, Ilesha, Osun State survived one tie-break in the first and second rounds to arrive at the semi-finals.
Their feat sent four other contestants packing at the second round. These include Esther Ajani of NOWA Secondary School, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Ishaq Ibrahim of Caliphate International Schools, Gusau, Zamfara State; Egbunu Jude Idoko of St. Peters College, Idah, Kogi State; and Gift Ike, Federal Government College, Owerri, Imo State.
Joshua, 15, a first timer in the competition, aspires to become a Computer Engineer. He is confident of winning the ultimate prize. “I seriously desire to win. If I win, I will keep the money for my education and appreciate people that helped my life, especially my teacher and my grandmother,” he disclosed.
For 16-year-old Nasifat, who exited in the preliminary stage two years ago in the junior category, the journey this time is perhaps more certain. “This is my second time in this competition. I dropped at the preliminary stage the last time, but I am better prepared now. My expectation is nothing short of the ultimate prize. And if I win, I will use the money to fund my university education because I want to study pharmacy,” she said.
In the spirit of the 20th anniversary, this year’s prize money has been doubled as winners in both categories would receive N2 million with an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country, while the first and second runners-up will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.
The teachers of the top prize winners will be rewarded with N500,000, while those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.
The winning schools will also be rewarded with Mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.
The 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematic TV Quiz continues this weekend. It will be aired to millions of viewers on DSTv Africa Magic Channel 154, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.