The duo came top of their counterparts in the finale of the competition held in Lagos at the weekend. In the senior category, Akinkuowo led the pack of five other finalists; with Titilayo Fasoro-Adewale (Hallmark Secondary School, Ondo) winning the award for the second position and Joshua Mokut (Emilis Academy, Calabar, Cross River State) clinching the medal for the third position. Similarly, representative of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, Munachi Ernest-Eze won the trophy for the junior cadre. Ajoke Taiwo, a student of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; came second with Ayomide Fadipe, another student of Loyola Jesuit College winning the medal for the third position.
Speaking at the occasion, Olivier Thiry, Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, producers of Cowbell, the product that sponsors the competition commended all the finalists for standing out of over 34,000 students that enlisted for the mathematics duel. He advised them not to relax on their effort towards reaching greater heights in life.
The company has, for over 15 years, been at the forefront of organising mathematics competition for students in secondary schools in Nigeria. Over the years, the company has recorded unabated success year in, year out on the annual competition hitherto known as Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC). However, it announced to the public in February this year that it was adding a new twist to the concept in 2015.
Olivier said: “The TV Quiz Competition added to the mathematics contest this year after 15 years that NASSMAC had run is a reflection of our determination to always explore possible ways of rekindling interest of secondary school students in the subject of mathematics.”
In his remarks, Professor Abdulrashid Garba, Registrar, National Examination Council (NECO); said Cowbellpedia competition will help Nigeria achieve its aspiration for greatness. His words: “Nigeria wants to be a great nation, but we cannot achieve that if Mathematics and sciences are not taken seriously. This competition is one of those concepts that will help to raise the standard of education in this country.”
Based on this, he said NECO was proud of Cowbell and Cowbellpedia; as he stated: “The Cowbellpedia team is giving hope that all is not lost. They are making the subject of Mathematics exciting.”
He concluded with a promise that NECO will sustain its partnership with Cowbell in ensuring improvement in performance of secondary school students in the subject of Mathematics.
In her Goodwill Message, Ms Jean Gough, Country Representative, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), commended the Cowbellpedia Team and Ministry of Education for their strive towards education for all in Nigeria.
Represented by Charles Nzuki, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Gough noted that the literacy rate among young women varies greatly from the lowest 32% in the North-West to 91% in the South.
His words: “If you look at the gender parity, which is the ratio of girls to boys, the best gender parity in primary education is in Ondo having 96.5% and the worse is in Zamfara with 31%.”