One of the goals of the 2016 edition of the Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz show is to encourage the girl child education in Nigeria. Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olivier Thiry explained at a press conference in Lagos that in order to stimulate the interests of more female students in this year’s competition, mixed Secondary Schools must nominate a minimum of two (2) girls for each category to represent such school. “This is our own little way of encouraging the girl child to take interest in education especially the Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics, STEM courses.” he said.
Mr. Charles Nzuki who stood in for Ms. Jean Gough, the United Nations Children Educational, Scientific Fund, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, at the finals of the competition last year, maintained that girls’ education needs higher priority and more investment from government and other stakeholders.
According to him, evidence has shown worldwide that the most marginalised child is a girl coming from the poorest, living in rural areas and with ethnic or linguistic background. He reiterated UNICEF’s support increased access and improved quality in education in Nigeria through the Girls Education Project, Female Teachers Training, Early Grade Reading and Nomadic Education.
Nzuki maintained that evidence has shown that one year of secondary education for a girl correlates with as much as 25 per cent increase in wages later in life – wages that can help support children, a family and a future. “We know that investing in education is perhaps the single best, most cost effective opportunity to break cycles of poverty once and for all, “ he said.
The UNICEF official congratulated Promasidor, the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders for the strive towards “Education for All in Nigeria.”
The competition will also this year, work in partnership with the National Examination Council, NECO to widen the reach to participants across the country.
Festus Tettey, Head of Marketing Promasidor Nigeria Limited added that the competition would be in two stages: Qualifying Written Examination and TV Quiz Show. The National Examination Council NECO will conduct the Stage one of the examination.
Tettey added that the Mathematics Competition is open to students from 10 – 18 years of age attending full time Secondary Education in both Public and Private Schools in Nigeria. Entry into this competition is FREE.
Each School is required to present their best ten (10) students in Mathematics (five from JSS3 and five from SSS2), irrespective of religion, tribe or state of origin, to enhance their chance of qualifying for the next stage of the competition. To register for the competition, candidates are required to visit www.cowbellpedia.ng
The company has also significantly increased the prize money for the finals for both students and teachers. This year, the top prize student winner in each category will go home with One Million Naira in addition to other prizes, while the teacher will be awarded Four Hundred Thousand Naira.
“All these improvements are to underscore Promasidor’s effort to provide a credible platform that discovers, recognizes and rewards excellence in Mathematics, a critical component of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria. This is in addition to the quality nutrition that is provided by the Cowbell brand for the nourishment of the Nigerian populace especially children,” Thiry said.