Over 50,000 junior and senior secondary students sat for the first stage examination of this year’s Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) across the country on Saturday.
Mr. Abiodun Ayodeji, Category Manager of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, disclosed this in an interview at Immaculate Heart Secondary School, Maryland, Lagos, one of the 184 examination centres of the NASSMAC in Nigeria this year.
According to him, 600 students sat for the examination at the Immaculate Heart Secondary School alone with many other students allocated to the 18 other centres located in different parts of the state.
Ayodeji expressed concerns about the mass failure the nation usually records in the West African Examinations Council’s (WAEC’s) mathematics examinations. He said the urge to develop the students’ interest in the subject formed the basis upon which Promasidor initiated the concept of NASSMAC 16 years ago. He was impressed that the annual competition has increasingly spurred the interest of secondary school students in the subject in Nigeria as Promasidor records yearly increase in the number of participating students in the competition.
The Category Manager said the Promasidor’s determination to rekindle the interest of students in the competition informed the improved cash prizes provided this year. The overall best student in the junior and senior categories will win N750,000; while the first and second runners-up will smile home with N500,000 and N250,000 respectively.
Ayodeji also stated that teachers of the best students for the junior and senior categories will get N250,000 as those in the second and third positions will win N200,000 and N150,000.
Poised to add value to the competition, he said Cowbell included a radio programme this year, which is already running on 15 stations pan-Nigeria. On the programme, he stated, a five-minute mathematics class is held on radio between Monday and Friday. According to him, topics discussed on the programme are in sequence with the school syllabus to help the participating students excel in their mathematics.
Satisfied with the way the examination was conducted, the English Teacher of Caleb British Academy, Mrs Adaobi Muonagor; who led the school’s team to the examination centre, commended Cowbell for the initiative meant to improve students’ interest in the subject.
She said the competition is a credible platform through which recognition is given to commitment to excellence in mathematics.