A 15 year-old boy, Akindele Oyedele, emerged as the National Champion of the 2013 Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition on Thursday.
The pupil of Iganmode Grammar School, Ota, a public school in Ogun State, scored 94 points out of a possible 100 to beat a 14-year-old pupil of Reality High School, Ilesa, Osun State, who scored 82 to clinch the second position.
Obasi Peter, 17, from the University of Nigeria Secondary School, Enugu, scored 81 points to clinch the third position.
Iganmode Grammar School has now won the competition back to back for three years. Akindele Nurein Oyetobi and Uwa Benjamin from the school had earlier won the competition in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
In the Junior Category, 13-year-old boy, Iyoha Omonzokpia of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, scored 93 points to beat Omojola Samuel, of Reality High School, who scored 91 to clinch the second position. Amulah Caleb, 14, of Mount Saint Gabriel’s School, Benue scored 89 to win the third position.
Over 30,000 pupils from different schools sat for the competition across over 200 centres in Nigeria.
Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited — makers of Cowbell Milk, Chief Keith Richards, noted that the intensity, fortitude and integrity of the competition had been sustained since it started in 1998. He added that the competition was free and open to all secondary school pupils between ages 10 and 18.
Lamenting that education was declining in Nigeria, especially in the North, due to terrorism, he regretted that no pupil from the North-East schools participated in the competition.
Richards said, “In the last couple of years, we have struggled because of the activities of Boko Haram and other criminal terrorist organizations that are against education and by doing that, they are threatening the hope and the future of Nigeria’s future generations and their children.
“Since the insurgency heightened, the level of participation in the North has reduced considerably. The results of this year’s competition further lend credence to the downward trend of education advancement in Nigeria”
Although he acknowledged that Nigeria still had a bright future, Richards appealed to the government and other well-meaning Nigerians to “act fast and save the situation, as it may destroy the future of many.”
Director-General, National Mathematics Centre, Prof. Adewale Solarin, at the event called on other private organizations to support educational programme.
He revealed that the centre had embarked on the training of students for the forthcoming Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad to be hosted by Nigeria.
Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, who was represented by the Director, Science and Technology, Dr. Abass Adedibu, said mathematics and science play a significant role in the economic development of a nation.
Winning schools in the competition went home with Desktop computers and printers, apart from monetary gift to the winning pupils.
The best 10 pupils in the senior category were also given laptops.
Iganmode Grammar School won the Benson Oweka Memorial Prize for its consistent and outstanding performance for over three years.