A student of Gloryland Secondary School, Igarra, Edo State, Anita Alabi; and another from Model Secondary School, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State, Henry Famuyiwa have emerged as the first set of semi-finalists in the junior category of the 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show, sponsored by Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
Oseghale Ailuelohia of Mind Builders High School, Satellite Town, Lagos; Abdusamad Ahmad of Flora College, Ilorin, Kwara State; Stanley Odebeatu of All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha, Anambra State and Olali Diepreye of Belary Schools, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State did not make it to the semi-final stage.
Alabi and Famuyiwa, who garnered 90 and 105 points respectively, could not conceal their excitement as they screamed and embraced their teachers who expressed confidence in the studentsâ€™ ability to advance to the finals.
Alabi, the only female in the group, who had a perfect score in the qualifying examination in March, said her performance in the competition would make her father proud.
Famuyiwa, whose hobbies are drawing and singing, said he looks forward to celebrating his success with his schoolmates.
In the senior category, Michael Paul of Excelgrace Academy, Gboko, Benue State and Margaret Chibuzo of Dority International Schools, Aba, Abia State with 105 and 110 points respectively scaled through to the semi-finals. Paul had a perfect score in the qualifying examination, while Chibuzo scored 95 per cent.
The duo defeated Goodluck Samuel of Emplace College, Akure, Ondo State; Samuel Adekunle of Christ the Redeemer College, Sagamu, Ogun State; Kyrian Obikwelu of All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha, Anambra State; and Abdullahi Nasir of Late Sabo Memorial Progressive Secondary School, Tilden-Fulani, Bauchi State.
Chibuzo, 15, who is visiting Lagos for the first-time, desires to become a computer engineer. She prays for more confidence and to improve her speed in the journey to actualise her dream of becoming the winner in her category.
Paul, who wants to become a medical doctor, traced his interest in mathematics to the encouragement he received from his father. â€œMy father, a civil engineer trained me, encouraged me and got me prepared for this competition and I can only hope for the best.â€
The ultimate prize for this yearâ€™s edition is N1 million and an all-expense paid educational excursion abroad, while the first and second runners-up will get N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
The teachers of the 2017 champions will be awarded N400,000, while those of the first and second runners-up will receive N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.
The winning schools will be rewarded with mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.
The competition continues this weekend while the programme will be aired to millions of Nigerians on Africa Magic Family, Africa Independent Television (AIT) network and other six television stations across the country.
Parents and stakeholders in the education sector have also commended Promasidor for supporting the initiative, which is aimed at discovering and celebrating young scientists and future inventors in the country.