Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
For the third consecutive year, British Spring College (BSC), Awka, Anambra State, has given cash awards to aspiring mathematics geniuses for their outstanding performance in the 2019 Mathematics Competition.
Master Kamtochukwu Agu, from Mount Olive School, Onitsha, got a cash award of N200,000 as the first prize in the competition.
The star boy also got 100 per cent scholarship for six years of post-primary education, while his teacher was rewarded with N150,000 for being a good tutor.
Pupils numbering about 1,177 participated in the first round of the completion but only 30 pupils from the seven participating schools from South-East and South-South made it to the final round of the competition.
Agu Kamtochukwu scored 95.349 to emerge winner, while Ojukwu Miracle Obiaranamma of Mabel Divine International School, Nnewi, got 93.798 to emerge second best in the mathematics competition.
Ojukwu would enjoy 75 per cent scholarship in the college and an additional N100,000 while her teacher will smile to bank with N75,000.
Ejezie Tobechi Eusebus of Mount Olive School, Onitsha, who scored 93.411 emerged third and is expected to enjoy 50 per cent scholarship in the institution and N50,000 cash prize, while his teacher got N30,000.
All the 30 pupils that made it to the final round got N10,000 each, with certificates of participation.
In a separate scholarship scheme also floated by the director of BSC, Lady Uju Dike, for pupils of Springfield Academy, the primary school in Onitsha, Ezenwoye Chidimma Sandra, who scored 95.086, got full scholarship and N200,000, while Oranu Samuel, who scored 92.034, will enjoy 75 per cent scholarship and cash award of N150,000.
Nwogo Ezinne scored 88.372 to emerge third and will enjoy 50 per cent scholarship and cash of N50,000. Their teachers will get N150,000, N100,000 and N75,000, respectively.
Dike said her reason for initiating the scholarship scheme was to encourage students and lessen the financial burden of parents in training the children.
She said she instituted different scholarship schemes for her pupils in Springfield Academy to guarantee transparency, calling on the losers not to lose hope but expect more goodies in their academic journey.
“Lady Uju’s scholarship scheme was instituted to show transparency in what we do. When we started, we allowed all schools to be part of the competition, including our own primary school, Springfield Academy. But then, people were not too sure of how transparent it was then, thinking that we would favour our pupils in the competition but that was far from what we intend to achieve through the scheme,” she said.
On her reason for venturing into the scheme, she said: “I am someone that is so passionate about children, and I just wanted to do something to appreciate God for everything he has done in my life and also to give back to society.
“When the issue of the scholarship came up, I told the principal that this was what I wanted to do. Personally, I like competition because it brings out the best in you. So, this award was instituted to encourage children and also give back to society.
“What we are doing is not a profitable venture. We have spent over N3 million to organise each edition and it still hasn’t ended because the children that got this scholarship will go through six years of our school without paying a dime and the school fees alone is a big investment because, if you calculate the school fees here for six years, you know it us a reasonable amount. So, the important thing for us is that we are doing that and we are enjoying what we are doing.
“For now, we advertised participation in the 11 states in the South East and South South geo political zones and that is because we just started. We hope to make it a national thing as time goes on. We are also happy because we are encouraged from the support we are getting from the state government, especially from Governor Willie Obiano and the Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha.”
Omenugha commended the director and the BSC for their partnership in nurturing and developing children, stating that government alone could not do all.
The commissioner also called on other schoolteachers and proprietors to endeavour to expose the students to such competitions, which, according to her, reposes confidence in them and sharpens their brain and mind.
“Governor Willie Obiano promised our state education that is globally competitive, a value-based education that is devoid of any manner of manipulation,” she said.
Earlier, the principal, British Spring College, Awka, Mr. Joseph Ozioko, said the college’s mathematics competition, which was established in 2017, would be made more valuable to parents and more beneficial to the children.
Ozioko stated that the completion was borne out of the director’s desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children: her love for children and their education facilitated the emergence of the scholarship programme.
In an interview, the overall best pupil, Master Kamtochukwu Agu, son of an Onitsha-based medical doctor, Dr. T.C. Agu, was full of praise for his teachers and parents. He said the award would spur him to work harder upon his admission to the secondary school.
His mother, Mrs. Nneka Agu, said the hand of God had been upon the child since birth, revealing that the BSC award was the third 100 per cent scholarship award he has received.