Michael Paul, a 15-year-old student of Excelgrace Academy, Gboko, Benue State, has traced his success in Mathematics to his boldness in confronting the phobia that has killed the interest of many students in the subject.
Paul, a Senior Secondary 2 student explained to journalists at the venue of the on-going 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show, a competition sponsored by the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Cowbell Our Milk that he “attacks mathematics and devours it like a lion.” Nicknamed rat by his friends because of his small stature, Paul added that the Mathematics phobia dissolves like ice in hot water if you develop the boldness to confront it.
“There is no magic. My father, a civil engineer, told me to be bold and that the fear I initially had for the subject will flee from me. The advice has worked perfectly for me. Since then, I put on the heart of a lion anytime I want to solve Mathematics questions,” he revealed.
The preliminary stage of the 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz last weekend threw up Paul and Margaret Chibuzo of Dority International Schools, Aba, Abia State, who both triumphed over their counterparts to proceed to the semi-finals in the Senior category. Paul had a perfect score in the qualifying examination while Chibuzo scored 95 per cent.
The duo knocked out 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 Senior category winner of the 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show.
Paul, whose career dream is to become to become a medical doctor, traced his interest in Mathematics to the encouragement he received from his father. “My father encouraged and prepared me for this competition. I can only hope for the best,” he said.
The ultimate prize for this year’s edition is One Million Naira and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country while the first and second runners-up will go home with Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira and Five Hundred Thousand Naira respectively.
The teachers of the 2017 champions will be awarded Four Hundred Thousand Naira while those of the first and second runners-up will receive Three Hundred Thousand Naira and Two Hundred Thousand Naira respectively.
The winning schools will be rewarded with Mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.
The contest continues this weekend and 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 Nigeria Limited for sponsoring the initiative, which is aimed at discovering and celebrating young scientists and future inventors in the country.