By Dayo Adesulu

Ondo State science students have finally emerged winner of the 16th national quiz competition organised by Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) for both secondary and primary schools held last Saturday at Federal University of Science and Technology (FUTA), Akure, Ondo State.

The winner surfaced after stiff contentions between Ondo, Abuja, Benin and Rivers in the cumulative scores, Ondo State students represented by Master Fadoju Oluwakayode and Master Durotoluwa Olumide all of 15- year- old emerged the overall winner with 122.25 points beating FCT who clinched the second position with 114.50 points. Both students representing Ondo State were subsequently rewarded with a trophy, N200,000 cash prize and a trip to Taiwan in 2012 to represent Nigeria.

While Fadoju Oluwakayode, a SS2 student at Hallmark Secondary, Ondo aspires to study Petrol-chemical Engineering in future, Durotoluwa Olumide from Federal Science and Technical College, Ikare reiterated to study Chemical Engineering in the university. The duo attested to how they studied hard before the competition to emerged overall winner.

Amongst other students that were celebrated for their science performance at the contest were Delta State pupils who came first in the primary school quiz competition. Delta scored 117:13 to beats Imo State that scored 116 to emerged second position. The Pupils were rewarded with N100,000 cash prize and a trophy. Also, the best eight pupils in primary and the best six students in secondary in mathematics and science will be sponsored to Philippine. Moreover, Mr Eweje Olanipekun, a science teacher from Ekiti State won the best teacher Award in science practical, subsequently, N200,000 cash prize, a trophy and a sponsorship trip to Philippine was given to him.

Speaking at the award night, the General Manager, Venture Relations, Mobil Producing Nigeria, the official sponsor of the competition, Engr. Victor Olaiya stated that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are important to economic development and prosperity of any nation adding that no technological progress can be accomplished without the aid of scientific knowledge. Explaining the rationale behind their support for STAN National Science Project and Quiz Competition, Olaiya pointed out that everywhere around us are products resulting from the brilliance and influence of science saying that the largest economies across the globe are dominated by countries with a strong technological culture. “The contest will encourage our youths to develop a keen interest and acquire skills in the field of technology,” he said.

According to him, “Mobil Corporate Citizenship programmes emphasize the importance of developing youths who display a high potential for success within the fields of science and technology, through a focus on education. We provide infrastructure through the construction of classroom blocks, laboratories and supplying of science equipment which are a necessity to ensure such development. Moreover, each year, we award undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships to outstanding young men and women whom we believe will one day lead our country to technological and scientific prosperity. Your various performances assure us that by supporting you, we are making an investment in our future – the next generation of science savvy citizens.”

He maintained that our country cannot become a leader within the realms of science and technology without laying a strong foundation for our youth within the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Also speaking, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank Country Office, Dr Tunde Adekola noted that for any nation to develop, it needs science stressing that World Bank will continue to support STAN because they are building the future of Nigeria. He hinted that before World Bank or CBN could support any programme, the initiators of such programme must have answered these questions: what are you doing, how have you been doing it, how do you sustain it?

Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Education, Dr Taiwo Kolawole who was overwhelmed by the performance of the students in her goodwill message charged them to be focus and never be distracted in their aspiration for science and technology.

President of STAN, Dr Prince Okorie in his goodwill message urged the government to allow our educational system to positively affect our children saying that government should embark on projects that will affect the children positively so that at JSS3 such youths would have something meaningful doing.

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