Funmi Ogundare

Winners have emerged in the mental mathematics competition organised for senior secondary one (SS1) and SS two students by Like the Stars Initiative, a non-governmental organisation with focus on mind development of the girl-child and educational advancement in the Niger Delta Region.

The keenly contested competition saw Master Wisdom Onianwa of Faith Academy, Asaba emerge as the overall winner, while Miss Ikechukwu Paula Petra of Our Ladies of Nigeria Secondary School, Oghara came second. Odize Goodness of Challenge Academy, Udu came third at the finals which held at Government College, Ughelli.

Speaking at the just concluded competition organised in partnership with the Delta State Ministry of Education, the Executive Director of the organisation, Miss Dele Dudusola said the competition was designed to help students show their brain power, unleash hidden skills, acquire good retentive memories and equip them for the increasingly competitive challenges of the 21st century, adding that emphasis should be placed on higher mathematical reasoning, sound qualitative and quantitative analysis.

“The solution to global and local challenges will require new knowledge, mathematical calculations and high mental intelligence, especially from young boys and girls. I am so delighted that today we have among our finalists, girls who have shown courage, knowledge and discipline in this competition and we will continue to encourage them to remain good moral ambassadors to other young girls in joining us to spread the message beyond mental power.”

She said 30 schools were invited to represent each senatorial zone in the state, while zonal preliminaries held in Urhobo College, Warri (Delta Central); Government College, Ughelli (Delta South); and French Language Centre, Asaba (Delta North), adding that 10 schools emerged from the preliminaries with four girls emerging as finalists.

In his remarks the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chinedu Ebie, who was represented by Director SVT, Pastor Joy Biyidi, commended the organisers of the competition and the participants, saying, “our students have shown to us they are truly ready to take over from us, with the present generation by their display of intelligence in giving prompt and correct answers to questions asked during the competition without using the calculator, biro or paper.”

He applauded the organisers “for the great initiative of organising and engaging our children in this brain-storming mental mathematics quiz competition which is the first of its kind in Delta State.”

The state Coordinator, Head Admin and Human Resources, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), who was represented by Mr. James Odafe Fole, commended the organisers, saying that the competition is in line with NDDC’s vision and mission to transform education in the Niger Delta.

“This superb competition is borne out of a vision to ensure that the good objectives of NDDC especially in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are achieved. Today, these students have made us proud and I will take back the message to the NDDC board and management.”

Prizes, including laptops, electronic tablets and cash prizes were presented to the students.