No fewer than 115 female students of junior secondary school across the country are participating in the final stage of Junior Mathematics Olympiad Competition training, organised by the National Mathematical Centre (NMC).
Dr Jekayinfa Olatunji, Desk Officer on Sustainable Development Goals, NMC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that after this final stage the 2018 Mathematics Queen will emerge.
The participants arrived at the Centre on March 31, while the competition ends on April 10.
“We have done the first and second stages in the state level; in the first stage, 120 students in each of the 36 states and FCT were selected to participate; in the second stage, the best 20 out of the 120 were selected to participate.
“Then this last stage, the best three from each state converge on the centre in Abuja to undergo a thorough training with professional resource persons for one week.
“After which they will now sit for the final round of the examination, where the best overall three students will emerge and the number one will now be crowned as Nigerian Mathematics Queen for 2018.
Olatunji said that the competition was aimed at encouraging and addressing the gap between males and females in the learning and teaching of mathematics in the country.
According to him, mathematics should be a subject for all, but research has shown that Nigerian girls are disenfranchised or not carried along in the study of mathematics.
“For instance, if you check students that proceed to a higher level of education in mathematics; you will notice that as they go higher the number of girls drop.
“Again if you check around you will notice that the number of females teaching mathematics in the university are less compare to males; the ratio is about 80:20.
“So we want to encourage the Nigerian girls in the study of mathematics; that is why we conceive the idea of putting up this sort of examination and competition among female students at the junior level,’’ he said.