By DAYO ADESULU
Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Delta State have emerged winners in the 2013 Mobil/STAN National Science Quiz/Project Competition held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The two states which were represented by Loyola Jesuit School, Abuja in the secondary category and Delta Steel Company Primary School, Alaja, Delta State in the primary category came first in a stiff contest with over 300 pupils and students from primary and secondary schools in 20 states of the federation.
Representatives of those states slugged it out in various science quiz and projects competitions as their intelligence were tested in mathematical science, physical sciences, vocational science/technology and life sciences.
After three days of stiff competition amongst the contestants in the secondary category, FCT, Abuja scored 127 to clinch first position, followed by Abia which emerged second with 122 points.
Third position went to Akwa Ibom ,the host state which had 115.50 as Ondo maintained fourth position at the bottom of the ladder with 115.25 points.
In the primary category, Delta clinched 112.25 points to emerge first while second position went to Ogun scoring 105.75 points.
Its counterpart in Cross River had 101 to occupy the third position even as fourth position went to Imo State with 100.75 points.
Incidentally, the two schools that represented their states and won the competitions are private schools. Ukogu Obinna 16, and Okeke Victoria 16, who represented FCT, Abuja in the secondary category are from Loyola Jesuit, Abuja while Owodeha Ashaka and Eyehova Ejiroghene that represented Delta State in the primary level are from Delta Steel Company Primary School, Alaja, Delta State.
Asked why private schools represented their states to clinch the laurels, Professor Peter Okebukola, chairman, STAN Science competition said; “Our unit of assessment is the state because we expect the state to throw up the best students to represent them.
“I am not surprised that they are mainly from private schools because national studies that was conducted in 1997 and 2007 disclosed that private schools are doing better than the public schools.
“This is on the account of poor resourcing of public schools in the quality of teachers as quality of teachers is the quality of resourcing material. You cannot reap from where you have not sown.”
He, however, explained that the purpose of the competition is to stimulate healthy competition among schools.
Moreover, in the remarks by Paul Arinze, General Manager, Public & Government Affairs, Mobil Producing Nigeria who was represented by Regina Udobong said , “As the institutional sponsor of this competition for the last 18 years, we are delighted that in partnership with STAN, we are providing a platform for outstanding science students in the country to showcase their intelligence and skills.
He said that NNPC/Mobil place a high premium on the development of science and technology, and have over the years demonstrated this commitment in Nigeria through various scholarship schemes and provision of science related infrastructure to several schools in Akwa Ibom.
“Our expectation is that the Mobil/STAN National Science Quiz and Project competitions will continue to rekindle the interest of students and teachers in the sciences,” he said.
Arinze who was optimystic of thee bright future of the students said, “in the next few years many of you present here today will end up as engineers, astronauts, mathematicians, geologists, or professionals in any of the sciences.