Akin Akande, Abuja
It was all joy on Wednesday for 14 year old Junior Secondary, JSS3 student, Adewale Fasoro Titilayo, when she was announced as the overall winner of the Nigerian Mathematics competition organised for female students by the National Mathematical Centre.
Titilayo, who is a student of Hallmark Secondary School won a cash prize of N100,000 and a scholarship valued at N3million to take care of her senior secondary school education.
The elated junior mathematics queen, who would be crowned alongside the African Mathematics on July 1 by the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, beat contestants from 22 states of the federation who entered into the competition.
“I feel excited and very happy because this is my first time of ever winning a national competition and I give grace to God. I want to become an aeronautic engineer when I grow up. I was afraid and nervous during the exams but God saw me through,” she added.
While speaking at the event, the Director General, National Mathematical Centre, Professor Adewale Solarin, noted that Nigeria was not the first to crown a mathematics queen as Cote d ‘ Ivoire did the same in 2009.
He, however, said that Nigeria wants to crown African Mathematics Queen at the senior category of African Mathematics Olympiad.
Professor Solarin, who said the competition has revived students’ interest in mathematics, noted that 30,000 students took part in this year Cowbell Mathematics Competition.
He said the number was just 20,000 last year and that it has been increasing saying, “Nigerian youths are getting interested in maths and we are not resting on our oars. We are still going to do more to see that everybody is excited about mathematics.”
His words: “The incentives for the junior African Mathematics Queen are many; first she is going to get N100,000 cash and then her school will also get 100 copies of our publication. In addition to that she is going to get scholarship for the senior school for three years which worth N3million.
All states took part in the competition. At the state level, they had three states, local government, zone, state and then final before top three emerge.
“The top three in the states now came to the centre and she emerged the best. That’s why we are taking interest in the top ten because they have gone through a lot of processes,” the DG said.