Student disagrees with WAEC answer in NNPC quiz

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) was put to test Monday in Ilorin when a participating student at the on-going Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) National Science Quiz Competition for states in the North Central Zone and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja disputed a mathematical answer the examining body proffered for one of the questions.

Providing an option D answer (5/36) for the Mathematics Round One, Question 7 of the exercise, Ibrahim Wisdom of St. Kizito Seminary, Idah, Kogi State, stood his ground, which made the Quiz Master, Mr. Oyawale Olusegun, to halt the contest and summoned six subject experts among the teachers to intervene.

As the tense atmosphere at the event slowly ticked away, Mr. Abdulahmeed Baba Ahmed, a Mathematics teacher from Demonstration Secondary School, Akwanga, Nasarawa State, who was among the subject experts that rose to the occasion, provided the solution to the logjam.

To the relief of participants, officials and the audience at the context, WAEC was right, as Ahmed’s solution tallied with the examining body’s option C answer to the question.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, who made this known in a statement yesterday, said the student was commended for being courageous to challenge WAEC.

“The question”, said Ahmed with an air of authority, “was not direct; it was technical”, stressing however that Wisdom’s courage to challenge WAEC option should be welcome.

Olusegun, the Quiz Master, who is a subject expert in Physics and is also a Deputy Director, Department of Science and Technology of the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, said that rarely, youthful participants had disputed answer options provided by an examining body, adding that the intervention of subject experts who accompanied the students was always sought to resolved matters.

The disputed question at the contest which held at Queen Elizabeth School in Ilorin was: A box contains 5 white, 4 green, and 3 identical balls. If two balls are picked one after the other from the box without replacement, what is the probability that one is white and the other is green? WAEC provided the following answer options for the pick: A 5/33; B 5/18, C 10/33 and D 5/36.

Option C was adjudged the correct answer.

Thirteen-year-old Wisdom who had earlier queried the WAEC’s answer concurred eventually with the examination body’s option, saying the question was rather technical, which was why he missed it.

It’s now two years running with WAEC as the consultant to the contest, with the main responsibility of preparing standardized test items for the nationwide competition.

At the preliminary stages up to the Zonal level, the NNPC quiz competition tests participants in five subject areas of Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. At the Grand Finale level, the test of fundamentals on NNPC and the Oil and Gas Industry is included.

Also, on the sidelines of the contest, Favour Moshood Okikiola, who was a Zonal winner of the contest and who made it to the Grand Finale of the competition in Abuja in 2017, revealed his exploits in the just-released West African Examinations Council Ordinary Level results.

Okikiola, who had attended Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Model School in Ilorin, made eight A1s in the examinations with only a B in English Language.

The calm 16-year old, who also recorded an impressive score of 344 out of 400 questions in the last Joint Admission and Matriculation Board universities admission examinations, has already trained his sights on studying Medicine and Surgery at the premier University of Ibadan.

“The NNPC National Science Quiz context was a morale booster to me”, Okikiola stated, saying that through the competition he was able to know his weak areas, which in turn enabled him to balance up.

He admonished the winners and losers at the Ilorin Zonal contest to think positively as they all have a bright future ahead of them.

Udeogu Chukwuemeka, Okikiola’s teacher, who was also at the North Central Zonal contest, said he made the school proud as he was the first student from their school who made it to NNPC National Science Quiz Competition Grand Finale.

Chukwuemeka stated that Okikiola’s participation in NNPC quiz competition was a morale booster as he received a hero’s welcome to the school on return from the contest in Abuja last year, stressing that the confidence the quiz contest imbued in him must have partly informed his recent superlative successes in WAEC and JAMB examinations.

NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, who was represented at the occasion said the quiz competition was a flagship of NNPC Corporate Social Responsibility projects.

He said he was proud of the successes of the initiative which has turned out scores of individuals that are making meaningful contribution to the society.

He assured that NNPC would continue to affect the lives of Nigerians in all walks of life positively in line with the corporation’s pay-off line.

Kwara State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Halima Garba, who was represented at the event by Alhaji Hammed Yinusa, Director, Information and Communication Technology Department of the Ministry, thanked NNPC for its support for science education across the country, adding that the corporation’s efforts had enabled many Nigerians to actualize their dreams.

Hajia Garba wished the winners who would represent the North Central in the Grand Finale contest in Abuja success in their endeavours.

Queen Elizabeth School Principal, Alhaja Ramata Abdulrahman, expressed appreciation to NNPC for the significant impact it was making to support the education of young Nigerians.

She said she looked forward to seeing other corporate bodies emulate NNPC in the laudable initiative.

At the end of the one-day competition which commenced as early as 9am, two states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Plateau State, represented by Okeke Favour and Ezemba Confidence respectively, tallied in their scores of 65 marks out of 75 points to emerge First and were trailed by Benue State who was represented by Agada Vincent, who made 3rd position. The three are to represent the Zone in the Grand Finale in Abuja later in the year.

Kwara and Kogi states, represented by Femi Olufisayo and Ibrahim Wisdom respectively, equally tallied to take the 4th position with 50 points each, with Niger and Nasarawa state, represented by Olamilekan Oladapo and Ajogwu Benjamin, making the distant sixth and 7th positions with 35 and 20 points respectively.

The NNPC Quiz Competition was inaugurated in 2000 and was limited to participants from the Niger Delta but went national in 2001. This year’s event would mark the 16th edition of the competition.

Designed mainly for students in the nation’s secondary schools, the competition has impacted positively on the intellectual attainment of young Nigerians. It has provided financial succour to successful contestants who have been placed on scholarship throughout their university education. Many of the awardees had moved on to achieve academic laurels in tertiary institutions, locally and internationally.

Fulfilling aspects of its slant, records show many of the past awardees ended up studying Science and Technology related courses in the universities. In 2010, a past winner of the competition emerged 2nd in a contest involving others from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Member Countries, and Austria to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of OPEC.

Several years after its inauguration, the horizon of the competition soars.

Among the main objectives of the competition are:

· To implement a core element of NNPC Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) package

· To promote Science education in the country

· To encourage students in the study of Science and Technology related subjects

· To prepare students for promotional and qualifying examinations

· To build friendship amongst the participating students

· To develop students’ competitive spirit

· To break down long-held stereotypes and engendering a better sense of national being in participating students, through the cross-cultural interactions that the contest offers

· To provide a platform for enlightening the students and the public on the activities of NNPC.

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