Gambega Fanta Science/Maths National Quiz Competition Kicks-Off
Monday, May 30, 2011
The daunting challenge facing most of our students in our contemporary education is mathematics and science.
Mathematics and Sciences are perceived by many precisely the most complex areas among all other disciplines of studies.
Such notions should are disillusioned by those who understand these arrears and efforts ought to be made to encourage students to develop their minds in mathematics and sciences.
Gambega, a beverage manufacturing company which produces soft drinks had tied part of its annual profits to taking giant steps as its corporate social responsibility, towards improving sciences and mathematics in senior schools throughout the country by organising quiz competition among senior schools in science and maths.
This come not as a surprise as it should be recalled that a similar quiz competition was sponsored last year by Gambega, even though limited to schools in Greater Banjul Area.
However, this year’s competition targets schools doing pure sciences across the length and breadth of the country capturing thirty-two senior secondary schools.
Readers could recall that this move follows a similar one by Qspell, a country-wide spelling competition sponsored by Qcell, a GSM service company at a tune of ten million Gambian dalasi in a bid to improve English Language in senior schools.
Without doubt, the efforts of Qcell and Gambega are impetus in raising the statuesque of English Language and Science/Maths in senior secondary schools.
Last Friday, Gambega Fanta science/maths regional competition kicked-off at Sifoe senior secondary school where four schools competed for a place in the second phase of this on going competition as sixteen schools will be knocked out at the end of the first phase.
Fatima senior school from Bwian in Foni Kansala locked horns with Masroor Senior School from Old Yundum.
Questions were drawn from maths, chemistry, physics, biology and a general question about Gambega company Ltd.
At the end of the 4th round, out of the total points of 40, Fatima senior scored 12 points while Masroor scored 34 points.
Fatima senior school henceforth knocked out by Masroor senior school has automatically booked itself a place in the second phase of the competition.
The next competition was between Sheik Hamdan senior school for girls from Old Yundum and Sifoe senior school from Kombo South and this was termed as the hottest competition of the day.
However in every competition there is a winner and a looser. Despite of the hot contest, at the end of the 4th round Sheik Hamdan pulled 22 out of 40 while Sifoe senior pulled 23 out of the grand total 40 points.
Fatima and Sheik Hamdan were eliminated whereas Masroor and Sifoe are qualified for the second phase, which will be determined at the end of the first round. Education in depth spoke to the representatives of the winning schools.
Mr. Abdou Benjamin is a teacher from Masroor senior secondary who accompanied the competing studentsl for the Gambega Fanta quiz competition.
According to Mr. Benjamin, the two students who represented his school are not the best students in his school.
“The selection was made on their normal school tests and exams, out of six identified the science teachers used their experiences and discretions and select the two but we have others who are more intelligent than these ones but they are very fast and we realise that due to that they make silly mistake and that can deny us the required points to move to the next stage of the competition”, Mr. Benjamin explained to Education In-depth.
When asked about the negative concepts that most people have towards science and maths, he said that people have the belief that science/maths are difficult and the problem most of the students are facing is based on the impression we are putting across the students.
He went on to say that students should be encouraged in the power of positive thinking in science and maths and there is no area that is not difficult but would become simple if one is determined and disciplined in his own area.
According to him, he did science in school and if you ask him about economics he wouldn’t say he hate but don’t like it as such are subjects that involves giving note. He did not underrate any school in this competition; he is going to gather more information in preparation of next stage.
Jide Johnson the head of science department and the one who monitors Sifoe senior school student representatives said, his school narrowly escaped and they were lucky to win.
He said that this will be an opportunity for them to go back to the drawing board to trash out their weaknesses before the next stage began.
He informed this reporter that he will advise his students to do more practice as mathematics is a subject that you can be reading like social science subjects.
He went on to say that they will not only look at the four areas targeted by this quiz but about the Gambega company as his students know little or none about the company and that had costed them to loose many points.
Babucarr Joof of the Science and Technology Education directorate, MOBSE, who happens to be the quiz coordinator of the quiz competition expressed delight over the manner in which the nationwide competition is faring.
According to Mr. Joof, there cannot be a developed nation in the absence of science, this is why science and technology education directorate under MOBSE initiates such a programme sponsored by Gambega Ltd to encourage students to go for sciences.
“Though I cannot give you the exact amount set aside for this quiz competition, a lot of money will be spent in it,” said Mr. Joof.
He tasked other organisations to borrow heart from Gambega Ltd to sponsor similar programmes as MOBSE and the government cannot do all alone, let them also come openly or under cover to give support to the education sector.
Basiru Saidy and Adama Jawo both from Masroor senior school encouraged their fellow students and youths to come forth and show their talents as there is no magic in science.
All that science and maths require is to have determination, focus and study hard.
‘Reading, listening and observing are all part of gathering information’.
Author: Janneh .S. Darboe