It requires a special talent and ‘anointing’ to teach a seemingly difficult subject like Mathematics to students who have developed phobia for it.
This was the submission of Mr Kehinde Oludare, a Mathematics teacher at Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State and the winner of the senior category of the Teachers’ edition of Cowbellpedia Mathematics Quiz Show, which marked the 2018 World Teachers Day and was aired last weekend.
The teachers’ edition had 12 participants – six in each of the senior and junior categories – whose pupils made it all the way to the finals of the 2017 edition of the competition, sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
Oludare’s student, Tomiwa Olatunbosun reached the final of last year’s competition but could not go beyond the first round of that last lap.
Oludare, who has been teaching for 10 years, explained that beyond passion, Mathematics teachers must have hunger to teach the subject, which a lot of students regarded as difficult.
He added that initiatives such as the Cowbellpedia Mathematics Quiz Show have helped to stimulate the interest of both students and teachers in the subject. “I love Mathematics as a student, and I love Mathematics as a teacher. It is like a pastoral call and anointing and this has been fuelling my hunger to impart this knowledge to my students. This competition is just like an icing on the cake,” he said.
Oludare won the contest at the expense of the first runner-up Messrs David Oluganna of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State; and Femi Fashotito of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, who came third.
Other teachers who participated were and Messrs Jacobs Zever of Excelgrace Gboko, Benue State; and Olugbenga Otunubi of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State. Bello Kolawole of Ambassador College Ota Ogun State could not make it to the show.
In the junior category, Mr Oluwaseun Makinde of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State outclassed his counterparts who included the first runner-up Thomas Eya of Marist Brother Juniorate, Abia State; and the second runner-up Ayorinde Olatunde of Graceland International School Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Others were: Paul Fase of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, River State; Hamzat Dankanawa of Nigerian Tulip International College, Kaduna State; and Lasisi Abu of Advanced Breed Comprehensive College, Sagamu, Ogun State.
A teacher of 10-year experience, Makinde disclosed that the victory has given him the opportunity to appreciate the efforts of his students more. “I now know what the students are going through… It is very easy to blame the students for lack of speed and for errors, but I now know that it is as that easy,” he admitted.
The semi-finals of the Quiz show resume next week with the 36 qualifying students battling to be among the 12 finalists in both categories.
This year, which is significant as it marks the 20th anniversary of Cowbell and Mathematics in Nigeria, the ultimate prize in each category has been doubled to N2 million with an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country as added incentive. The first and second runners-up will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.
The teachers of the top prize winners will be awarded N500,000, while those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.
The 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematic TV Quiz continues this weekend. It will be aired to millions of viewers on DSTv Africa Magic Family Channel, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.
Meanwhile, preparations have commenced for next year’s edition of the competition. According to the organisers, the 2019 Cowbellpedia registration portal is now open for secondary school students across the country to register.