The Ambassadors College (TAC), Ota, Ogun State, has always excelled in the annual Cowbell National Mathematics Competition. But this year was spectacularly different for them as TAC students and teachers cleared all the prizes in the Cowbellpedia. The founder and chairman of the school, Mr. Samson Yomi Osewa, shares the secrets of the school’s outstanding success in mathematics with Kayode Oyero of AfricaInterviews.
Mathematics seems to be a favourite subject in your school…
Yes, we like Mathematics. In 2014, we had 47 distinctions in mathematics at the West African Examination Council (WAEC), similarly, last year and this year. In fact, any of our students that do not score A1 in mathematics at the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations feels he or she has failed.
What is the secret of the all-round success at Cowbellpedia Mathematics Competition?
We trust and believe in God. We also pray and work hard. We organise special Mathematics coaching for our students who are interested in entering for Cowbellpedia, and other Mathematics competitions around the globe, such as The Olympic Mathematics and a few others in South Africa. Those that have interest in any upcoming Mathematics competition apply to get extra-training and coaching from our teachers for the competition. We also organise Mathematics competitions periodically ourselves. Our school competitions are open to students of other schools and prizes are won.
With TAC’s impressive performance in Mathematics, one could think the founder is also a Mathematician…
I am a pharmacist by profession. I worked with Nigerian German Chemical PLC for 25 years and retired as the deputy Managing Director.
As a pharmacist for that long, how did you become an educationist?
My wife and I are pharmacists, but the Lord gave us a new assignment 18 years ago. That was when we started the primary school and then we started the secondary school 12 ago. But even as a pharmacist then, I have always been involved in education. I became a teacher after my primary school and secondary school education. I was also the chairman, Parents’ Teachers’ Association (PTA) of my children school for 10 years. We also attended trainings, conferences, workshops, and kept on learning.
Does the school get any share from the prizes of the students and teachers?
No; their parents have already left with the cheques. Each of the six students that won the first, second and third categories of the junior and senior secondary school carted home N1.8 million each, while the two teachers that won the teachers’ category for the junior and senior teachers’ category got N1.2 million each. Aside that, Promasidor the organisers of the competition, donated 200 Mathematics textbooks to the school, as well as 20 computers with UPS and six printers.