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Cowbell Milk celebrates twenty years of supporting mathematics in Nigeria

Mathematics has been perceived as a difficult subject to study in Nigerian schools. In spite of all efforts to correct this perception, poor performance in Mathematics by the majority of Nigerian students is apparent in results released by various examination bodies. There is only so much the Nigerian government can do to effectively arrest the situation.

Promasidor Nigeria, however, stepped in to make the ‘impossible possible.’ It chose to intervene in the promotion of education by making Mathematics fun to teach and learn.

In 1998, Promasidor Nigeria commenced sponsorship of the annual National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC), now known as Cowbellpedia.

The initiatives include the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show, Cowbellpedia Radio (a Mathematics class on radio) and the Cowbellpedia Mobile App (Mathematics Q&A mobile application).

From its beginnings in 1998, Cowbell-pedia has expanded in size, scope and prizes. The examinations are now held in over 200 centres across the nation with a reach of over 11,000 schools. To further underscore its expansion, the number of students participating has jumped from 15,000 a few years ago to around 51,000 in 2017; this excludes the students who participated in the various schools’ internal selection process.

In 2016, Promasidor Nigeria began to encourage mixed schools to present a minimum of two girls for each category to represent them in a bid to further encourage the girl-child to take interest in education.

This was a huge success in 2016 when we had an all-Girls affair in the finals of the Junior Category and in the Senior Category, girls won the 1st and 2nd runners-up positions.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the relationship between Cowbell and mathematics and the following initiatives have been included this year. The prizes for this year’s edition have been doubled across all levels for students and teachers, the ultimate prize is now N2 million and an all-expenses paid educational excursion outside the country, while the first and second runners up will go home with N1.5 million and N1 million naira respectively. The prize money for the state winners have also been increased.

The teachers of the top prize-winners will be awarded N500,000 while those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.

The Cowbellpedia Compendium, with numerous illustrations and exercise questions from the past Cowbellpedia TV Quiz Show, has been compiled for Secondary School students across Nigeria, with the sole aim of stirring up the interests of students in mathematics. Cowbellpedia Academy, which is a workshop for students and teachers in partnership with a top notch foreign University, exposes them to various learning techniques in achieving, sustaining and managing academic excellence.

Similarly, Promasidor Nigeria has received commendation from the National Examination Council (NECO) through its Registrar, Professor Charles Uwakwe, who commended the company for stimulating the interest of Nigerian students in Mathematics. He confirmed that the competition has considerably reduced the phobia for the subject among students across the country and demystified the terror that has been killing the dreams of many students.

The Cowbellpedia initiative has won lots of accolades for Promasidor Nigeria Limited which includes the Best Company in Education category of the prestigious SERAS Awards and that of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (Lagos Chapter), and the Digital Life Service Award from West Africa Com.