10-year-old God’s pride student makes history in math contest
Chinaesom Jacqueline Anyanwu and Victor Chinedu Madumere both had strong reasons to want to win the fifth The Ultimate Mathematics Ambassadors (TUMA) competition last Saturday.
For Chinaesom, a primary six pupil of Tripplecross Schools, Ikeja, it was to make history as the first girl to lift the trophy in the history of the competition. For Victor of God’s Pride Group of School, Ota, it was to repeat the feat achieved by his brother, Samuel, in 2012 edition of the competition.
It was, therefore, understandable when there was palpable tension before the winner was unveiled by Mr Samson Osewa, chairman of the Ambassadors Schools, Ota, which organised the competition.
The duo were the best of the 1,155 primary school pupils from 402 primary schools in Lagos and Ogun states that entered for the competition held at the Ambassadors Junior School in Ota.
They qualified with 18 others (top 20) for the second stage of the competition which featured three rounds – theory, objectives, and quiz.
In the quiz programme, modeled after the Cowbellpedia 60 seconds fame, all the pupils had to answer 10 questions that were the same in 60 seconds.
Chinaesom won emphatically with 88 marks – earning 33 in theory, 28 in objective, and 27 in the quiz rounds. Victor came second with 83 marks (24; 23; 24.3 in rounds 1-3).
Ten-year- old Chinaesom was rewarded with N200,000, and a plaque. Her teacher got N75,000 and a plaque, while the school got a laptop, printer, laptop, mathematics textbooks and a plaque.
Victor on the other hand got N150,000, his teacher, N50,000, and the school same as the first prize.
In third place was Maximilian Chibueze Ibekwe of Our Lady of Apostles Private School, Yaba, who went home with N100,000 and a plaque; N30,000 for his teacher, and printer and textbooks for his school.
The fourth to 10th placed winners were rewarded with N30,000 each, while their teachers got N15,000. The 11th to 20th placed winners also got N15,000 and N5,000 for their teachers.
About 111 pupils that scored at least 50 per cent in the first stage of the competition were presented with gifts and certificates.
Speaking on her victory, Chinaesom who wants to be a medical doctor or professor, said she was excited to win.
“I feel excited.I knew by God’s grace I would win. I studied hard and well. I had to sleep late to study for the competition,” she said.
Her father, Michael, a banker, said she was determined to lift the trophy.
“She (Chinaesom) told me from the beginning that she would win. She said it was unfair that a girl had never won the competition. She stayed up to 11.30pm to study,” he said.
Victor, who lost to Chinaesom said he was sad not to have repeated his brother’s success in 2012 but happy he came second.
“I am sad I did not win but I am happy to have come second. I prepared very well. I also prayed to God to give me success,” he said.
Proprietor of Ambassadors School, Mrs Victoria Osewa expressed joy the competition had produced its first female winner.
“I have been praying for this. I am the happiest person here today,” she said.
Mrs Osewa added that the competition has improved over the years.
“We don’t have any regrets because every year it is improving. When we first started, the marks were low but the aim is to remove the phobia for mathematics and that aim is being achieved,” she said.
Her husband said the school did not allow the recession to stop the organisation of the programme. Though it cost millions of naira to implement, Osewa said the outcome worth the effrort.
“Ignorance is more expensive. We believe that the future of Nigeria will be greater if the children know what they need to know,” he said.