Faith Odunsi, a 15-year-old Nigerian student made her country and Africa proud by winning the 2021 Global maths competition. The brilliant student from The Ambassadors Schools defeated students from the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, China, and other nations to clinch the top prize. Nicholas Lee from Indonesia took the second position while Ralph Moses from the Philippines came in third.
This is not the first time that the SS3 student from Ijebu, Ogun state is showing her prowess in Mathematics. In the 2018 Cowbellpedia competition, Faith won the “Most Questions Answered” award after answering 19 math questions in 60 seconds. During an interview with The Punch, the brilliant student said it was a tense atmosphere at the Global Open Mathematics Tournament during the announcement of the winner.
“I was too anxious to dance. I was tense because it was a tough competition.”
Organizers of the Global Maths Competition
The Mathematics for Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization, organizes the Global Open Mathematics Tournament. The NGO, which was founded in 2015, is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. Its mission is to educate learners using maths as a unique, innovative tool in enhancing the quality of education.
Also, it seeks to demonstrate that Mathematics knowledge can improve the quality of life. Since its establishment, the Mathematics for Life Foundation has been organizing mathematics competitions in Africa. The 2021 Mathematics Tournament was the first global edition.
Usually, the Foundation invites math lovers (9-18 years) to register for free on their website. Registration for the virtual global contest closed on November 9, 2020. Speaking on her experience, the math genius hints on her experience heading to the finals.
“In the first stage, there was a computer-based test and we had to answer many questions in one hour. My score in the test was 66. The second stage took the same format and I also scored 66. The quarter and semi-finals were on Microsoft themes. We were asked questions and we put in our answers; the first to put in the correct answers got 10 points.”
Also, Faith said she never allowed the competition to affect her learning activities. So, she used to prepare for the mathematics tournament after her classes. Obviously, being a student should not prevent you from aiming higher.
The Prize for the Competition
The Mathematics for Life Foundation presented a monetary award of N379,000 ($1,000) to the young Nigerian. Also, she mentioned that the organizers were planning for an official presentation of the global maths award. Also, the second and third winners took home $500 and $300 respectively. Faith hinted that she would want to pursue computer engineering at the university level.
Although the Western media touts Africa to have a poor education structure, Faith’s incredible win at this year’s global competition proves otherwise. Many African countries continue to invest heavily in their education systems to raise academic standards in the continent. It is only a matter of time and these efforts would begin to yield enviable results.