Over 10,000 secondary school girls drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory took part in the national stage of the 2016 Pan African Mathematics Olympiad for Girls (PAMO-G).
The competition is to select students to represent the country in next year’s Pan African Mathematics Olympiad for Girls.
President of the African Mathematical Union and director/chief executive officer of the National Mathematical Centre, Professor Adewale Solarin, who spoke at the event in Abuja, said the competition was aimed at dealing with the inherent phobia associated with Mathematics and the sciences.
He added that competition, which was initiated by the African Mathematical Union (AMU), was also to elicit and sustain the interest of girl students in the subject.
The AMU president stressed that as a result of the obvious gender bias in Mathematics and the mathematical sciences, the union evolved the competition to strengthen the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to develop a critical mass of young female scientists in sub-Saharan Africa.
The competition, which began in 2014, is in the Junior and Senior categories. The best girls in each state of the federation will be crowned Mathematics Queens, while the African Queen will subsequently emerge at the continental championship.
Meanwhile, the National Mathematical Centre has expressed commitment to producing adequate high level manpower in statistics to fill the obvious gap inherent in that area of study.
Professor Solarin stated this at the closing ceremony of a one-week workshop on ‘Fundamental Statistical Skills for Postgraduate Research in Abuja’.
A statement by the Head, Information of NMC, Mr Onyekachi Njoku, quoted Solarin as urging participants to apply what they learnt from the workshop in their respective careers.