15-year-old Mezisashe Ojuba has emerged winner of the 2019 Kangaroo Mathematics Competition.
Miss Mezisashe Ojuba, a Senior Secondary School (SSS) II pupil of Loyola Jesuit Collage, Abuja, won the best position in Nigeria in the international competition that over 90 countries participated in.
Professor of Mathematics and the immediate past Director and Chief Executive of the National Mathematics Centre and principal consultant for the International Academy for the Gifted, Professor Adewale Solarin said he was challenged by colleagues to groom gifted children in the country.
“We started in 2008 when some of my colleagues in Morocco and the United States really challenged us on the need to identify gifted children early and develop them. Part of the challenge was that I have been producing students with first-class in the university; this is my 43rd year in the university system.
They told me that it is a bit late when you start with students in the university system; they may make first-class but they cannot make deep research. If you want deep research, go to secondary and primary schools, identify them early and develop them.
We now found international competitions, like the American Maths Competition (AMC), where more than 100 countries participate; then, Kangaroo Mathematics Competition, where more than 90 countries participate. So, it gives our children the opportunity.
Every year, we see new species of gifted kids. This year, we found some primary six and five pupils beating Junior Secondary School (JSS) I and II pupils in the same exams. There are many categories; the category that Mezisashe Ojuba got the first price is that of SSII and III, which is fantastic for her to come first in the country. It is worth celebrating.”