I aspire to be a Professor of Mathematics because I love Maths so much. I spend most of my time reading Mathematics because I find it is so interesting.”
Those were the soft-spoken words of the 15-year-old whiz kid and Mathematician, Master Benjamin Uwa, who emerged the overall best student in the 2012 Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC). A Senior Secondary School (SS)2 student of Iganmode Grammar School, Ota, Ogun State, Uwa, was the overall winner in the Senior Secondary School Category with a total score of 96 points.
The young lad smiled home with a laptop, a gold trophy and N300,000. Besides, he was confident that he would be one of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s automatic scholarship to study Mathematics at university level.
Speaking with Education Tribune shortly after the 2012 Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition prizes- giving ceremony held at Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Uwa said he felt good emerging as the overall winner.
Benjamin Uwa, speaking on his success story, said he takes his studies, especially Mathematics, very seriously. To him, Mathematics is one of the simplest subjects, saying people created the wrong impression that the subject is difficult. “I study Mathematics everyday and I have passion for it,” he said.
According to him, the questions for the competition this year were simple.
He believes that the decline in performance of students in public schools in Nigeria, especially in Mathematics and other sciences, has to do with the quality of teachers and commitment to imparting knowledge.
He said, “My school is a public school but it is not run like a public school. The principals and teachers we have are highly respected. They are competent and comitted.”
“In my school, JSS1 is for preparation for competitions. Sometimes, in JSS1, students are made to attend special classes in preparation for real competitions and not ordinary examinations. For the Cowbell competition, we started preparation from last year, before promotion examination,” he said.
Source: Sunday Tribune