By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, has said mathematics is key to solving Nigerian security challenges.
“Since Mathematics is the foundation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, it is critical to our nation’s security and prosperity,” he said.
Dr Kana stated this Monday at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Armed Forces Secondary Schools Mathematics Olympiad organized by the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the National Mathematical Centre, in Abuja.
He said the event marks a significant achievement for Armed Forces Secondary Schools students who have demonstrated their exceptional aptitude in the field of Mathematics.
“I am proud of each and every one of you for your dedication, hard work, and commitment to academic excellence,” he said.
Dr Kana particularly congratulated to all the winners and participants of the Mathematics Olympiad for their outstanding performance, noting, “Your achievement is a true testament to your brilliance and determination. I urge you all to continue pushing yourself to be the best that you can be in all aspects of your academic and personal lives.
He said the initiative received the Ministry’s approval because the event is an opportunity for students to showcase their problem-solving skills and creativity in mathematics.
He said: “Mathematics is a vital subject that permeates all aspects of human endeavour. From engineering to economics, medicine to computer science; Mathematics plays a critical role in every field. Its application is not only limited to the sciences but also in everyday life situations. Therefore, it is with great importance that we encourage and promote mathematics as a key area of study.
“This initiative received the Ministry’s approval because the event is an opportunity for students to showcase their problem-solving skills and creativity in mathematics. It is an event that challenges the brightest minds to solve complex problems and think outside the box.”
The Permanent Secretary commended Armed Forces Schools for the role they have played in fostering academic excellence amongst its students pointing out that the schools have been at the forefront of nurturing and developing its students’ mathematical abilities.
“We have made a concerted effort to provide an enabling environment and access to quality resources that make learning Mathematics an enjoyable experience.
” It has borne fruit with the outstanding performance we have witnessed today. Our future, as a Nation, depends on the quality of the education our children receive. I am confident that with the right support and environment, our students will go on to excel in their various fields of studies and contribute towards the development of this great nation.”
Furthermore, he thanked the teachers and parents for their support and encouragement for the students in their pursuit of excellence.
His words, “Your dedication and commitment have helped to shape the minds of these young people and will continue to inspire them as they move forward in their academic and professional careers.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General and Chief Executive National Mathematical Center, Prof. Promise Mebine, said the centre is committed to encouraging and supporting activities that would lead to the improvement of the teaching and learning of mathematical sciences at all levels.
He however lamented that many students view mathematics often as abstract and difficult.
While noting that the teaching of mathematics is difficult because of a lack of qualified teachers and poor motivation, he said, “As we all know, the teaching and learning of mathematics in our schools are in a miserable state. Just as students find it difficult to understand the topics taught, teachers equally find it difficult to achieve effective teaching.
“This makes teaching difficult cumulating in the poor performance of students.
“The major problem in the learning and teaching of mathematics are the lack of quality teachers, lack of commitment and motivation for teachers, lack of the use of teaching aides and instruction materials.”
Some winners in the various categories during the olympiad included Oluwole Olamayowa from the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria, Chukwudalu of Airforce Military School, Jos, Destiny Friday of Command Day Secondary School, Jos, Onipede of Nigerian Navy Military School, Uyo among others.
The overall first-prize winner carted away a touch screen laptop, the second-prize winner went home with a tablet and the third-place winner received a wristwatch.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.