Stakeholders in the education sector have endorsed the Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) instituted about 12 years ago by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk.
The stakeholders gave the endorsement at the flag-off of the 12th edition of the competition in Lagos recently.
Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye who commended Promasidor for the initiative also enjoined Mathematics teachers across the country to encourage their students to develop interest in the study of the subject rather than being afraid of it.
Oladunjoye who was represented by Mr. Semasa Sutton, a director in the Lagos State Ministry of Education also advised students not to be afraid of Mathematics, because it is like any other subjects.
Also speaking in the same vein, Mrs. O.O.Ajibade, a deputy registrar with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) commended Promasidor for the bold initiative of promoting the study of Mathematics in the country and asked other companies to take a cue from it.
She noted that Promasidor was by extension encouraging the study of science courses through the NASSMAC because Mathematics is one of the gateway subjects students need to move forward educationally.
In his contribution, Deacon Olusoji Adams, who represented Alhaji Babs Animashaun, the National Co-ordinator of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) appealed to other companies in the country to promote other subjects.
Explaining the rationale for the NASSMAC, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, Marketing Director of Promasidor Nigeria said the NASSMAC was instituted as a credible platform for identifying outstanding students and encouraging excellence among secondary school students in Nigeria.
He said the competition has rewarded many outstanding secondary school students across the country.
Describing the processes involved in participating in the competition, Onubogu stated that the competition is open to all students between 10 – 18 years of age in JSS3 and SS2, in any government approved schools in Nigeria.
“The competition is open to all students between 10 – 18 years of age in JSS3 and SSS2 attending full time secondary education in government approved schools in Nigeria.
“The best three students in both categories, i.e. junior and senior will be required to represent each school for this year’s edition. Schools who intend to participate can obtain forms from our website, or our headquarter or via our website.
“The forms must be properly filled, stamped and signed by the school principal and must be presented by the student to the officials at the examination centre on the examination day. We would ensure that students, teachers and schools are properly tutored on the mode of entry through our partners in the ministries of education, educational stakeholders and in the media”, he added.
Moreover, the first stage examination is billed to hold on Saturday, 17th of March 2011 in 200 centres across Nigeria. Emerging students with the highest scores in Junior and Secondary categories will make it to the second and final stage examination after which the national prize winner shall emerge.
According to Onubogu, the best three students in each category at the state level will receive N25, 000, N20, 000 and N15, 000 respectively, aside other branded gift items, for their outstanding performances at the first stage examination.
The Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition began in Lagos in 1998 and within two years, expanded to other states like Anambra, Kaduna, Plateau, Oyo and Imo. And in 2001, it became a national competition spreading across all the 36 states of the federation, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.