Finally, the day has come, for the much awaited mathematics competition in Nightingale Academy, tagged ‘Annual Mathematics Quiz’. Of all the 6 participating students, only Ayo was visibly nervous before the start of the quiz. She had no idea why. Maybe, it’s because this was her first time participating in a mathematics-only competition or it was because she didn't believe in herself. The prying eyes of the JSS 1 student didn't leave her body too. This added to her anxiety.
Ayo was with her classmates when the quiz master finally called on her name. Her body shook with vigour, as she was being invited to the podium. She started to fidget and looked like someone who was terrified.
“You can do this, Ayo,” one of Ayo’s classmates encouraged.
“Don’t be scared!” another said.
“Ayo, don’t put us to shame. Go there and make us proud,” Bukky added.
“I believe in you, Ayomide Cole.” It was Bayo’s voice. Just as if Ayo was waiting for Bayo to speak, she dashed out and took her seat on the podium, arranged for the contestants. Hers was in second in line. To her right was Funmi, who had been her tutor for the past few weeks.
After all participating students have been seated, the quiz master recalled the names just to ensure they were seated according to their contestant number.
“Contestant one,” he called. “Funmilayo Ogunbiyi, JS 1A!;
“Two, Ayomide Cole, JS 1B!;
“Three, Bidemi Gbadamosi, JS 2A!;
“Four, Daniel Chisom, JS 2B!;
“Five, Emmanuel George, JS 3A! And finally contestant six, Aduragbemi Sodipe, JS 3B!
“Last year’s winner, Emmanuel George and runner up Bidemi Gbadamosi are also here on stage. Will the youngsters in JS 1 be given a chance this year? Let’s see if Emmanuel will win the title of ‘Outstanding mathematics student of the year’ for the third time and go home with the” – he raised his voice – “gold medal!”
As if signaled to do so, the one in charge of music, jockeyed the disc, to make a loud scratching sound, followed by a pre-recorded applaud.
“Before I forget,” the quiz master continued. “We also have Aduragbemi Sodipe, the second runner up from last year. She was also the runner-up during her first year as a JS 1 student. Let’s see if she can beat Bidemi to it this year and pull off the runner-up shoe.”
The students laughed at this joke while the DJ played a short recording of laughing children. It gave the occasion the boost it deserves.
The principal addressed the students with the opening speech. In it, he stated the purpose of the competition, which was to encourage the students and give them insight of what to expect in the inter-school Mathematics Olympiad.
The quiz master took the microphone once again and announced, “There are three stages in this competition.” He made signs with his free hand as he speaks, especially when there’s a number involved. “In each stage, 10 questions are asked from each contestant and a point is awarded for each correct answer provided.
“In the first stage, two contestants will be disqualified while in the second stage, one more would be disqualified. At the final stage, the remaining three contestants battle until a wrong answer is given by any two of them. Then and there, the first, second and third position would be announced.”
The students applauded once again.
“Are you all ready?” the quiz master asked and the contestants answered positively. “Okay! Contestant one, your question!”
And so the quiz began…
“Mr. Dammy, do you think she can progress past the first stage?” a female teacher seated beside Mr. Dammy on the high table asked.
“Who?” Mr. Dammy asked, feigning ignorance.
“Ayo, of course!” Mrs. Folarin replied.
“I believe in her. Let’s leave who progress and who don’t, to the judges, to decide.”
Mrs. Folarin did not believe for a second that Ayo would progress past the first stage, not to talk of winning. She believed Emmanuel would win it for the third consecutive time, just like the majority of the teachers and students of the school believed. However, Mr. Dammy’s thought was opposite of others but he decides to keep it to himself instead.
After about an hour, the first stage came to an end and the quiz master wore the same funny look he wore at the beginning of the round. The students watched him with renewed interest and he seemed to be enjoying his time, keeping the result at bay.
Finally, he spoke. “Here are the points after the first stage!” He looked at the paper, the judges had just handed over to him, and smiled as he read from it.
“Funmilayo Ogunbiyi, 7 points; Ayomide Cole, 6 points; Bidemi Gbadamosi, 9 points; Daniel Chisom, 5 points; Emmanuel George, 10 points; Aduragbemi Sodipe, 6 points.”
He looked up at the audience and continued, “There seem to be a tie between two of the contestants. So, we shall advance to a tiebreak round between Ayomide Cole and Aduragbemi Sodipe. A round of applause for them!”
The DJ was first to applaud, with sound from his Music System, before the students joined in. While they applauded, Ayo let out a sigh of relief to stabilize the rhythm of her heartbeat. It seemed to have been beating too fast, since the start of the round. As glad as she was that that round was over, she feared the tiebreak round even more. A one-on-one with a JSS 3 student and a one time runner-up, whom the quiz master had said might win the competition, wasn’t what Ayo had presumed would happen to her. However, being ahead of Chisom, a JSS 2 student, motivated her to keep on and not relent. Not to mention, the approval signal her classmates made with their thumb. Mr. Dammy gave her an approving nod, with a weak smile to support it. Ayo smiled back at him and focused more on her breathing, which was returning to its normal rate by the passing minute. A glance in the quiz master's direction, Ayo knew he was on one of his endless speeches, in commendation of the previous winners. At that moment, Ayo wanted nothing more than to be praised in one of the quiz master's future speeches.
At the end of the first stage in the quiz competition, Daniel Chisom was disqualified. He left the stage, slowly, while looking at his feet as he walked. As for Adura and Ayo, they went into a tiebreak to know who will progress to the second stage. Ayo was still in her thoughts when the quiz master announced the beginning of the next round. She had felt bad to see Chisom leave but if he hadn’t scored so low, she would have been the one to leave, and that would have been terrifying. So, she braced herself up and looked eager to see what the tie break with Adura will hold.“In this tiebreaker round” – the quiz master pointed to the ground – “the first of you two, to provide a wrong answer, will be disqualified. Is that clear?”“”Yes, sir!” Ayo and Adura said, almost at the same time.At this very moment, every student believed that’s the end for Ayomide Cole except two. Bukky never doubted her and B
The next stage began on a very interesting note. All remaining four contestants were up to the task and none wanted to concede to the other. They all knew, one wrong answer could deny them entry to the next stage. Hence, they all answered correctly to the first set of questions asked.“What do you think about the competition now?” Mr. Dammy asked Mrs. Folarin, who looked rather calm, watching the contestants relentlessly provide correct answers to their questions. He felt it was the right time to close the rift.“I think Ayo would be among the top three finalists” – she nodded her head slowly – “Funmi won’t last any longer than she already has. She’s becoming nervous just like Adura.” She fixed her eyes on the quiz master as he decided on Funmi’s response to the question.“Wrong answer!” he announced.“Geez!” Funmi said, with an American accent. Not that she wanted t
The last stage for the Annual Mathematics Quiz had already begun. The stage which determines the last man standing and hence the winner of the competition. Most of the students were ecstatic about it while only a few were looking blue because their favorite person had been disqualified. Yet, others looked up to Ayo as the new champion. From the look of things, it appears as though she was the only one who deserves the win. However, none of the staff share in this view. Even Mr. Dammy was now hesitant about placing his trust in her because she has gone from being relaxed to scared and this worries him. Every time Ayo was asked a question, he would bite his fingers and would feel his heart almost exploding out his chest.Ayo, likewise, was not in the best of mood. She was uneasy in her seat and felt the need to excuse herself. Nothing more than the competition coming to an abrupt end, would please her. The ecstasy she felt at the start of the competition was
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How time flies? It’s been two years since the annual mathematics quiz held in Nightingale Academy. Ayo was now in JSS 3 while Bayo had already graduated from the secondary school, having passed his S.S.C.E in flying colours.Both Ayo and Bayo now lived in the same apartment under the roof of Mr. Badmus, though in separate rooms. She had been his stepsister for more than a year now, ever since Mr. Badmus proposed marriage to Esther, Mrs. Cole, of which she gladly accepted. After all, it is all she ever wanted. She is in love with him and ready to be with him for the rest of her life. Six months after he proposed, they got married and ever since they have lived together, tightening the bond between Bayo and Ayo. Mrs. Cole had now become Mrs. Badmus and she liked it.The school had just resumed back for the second term in the 2017/2018 academic session, in January. It was yet to decide which six students would represent them in the coming season of Mathematics Olymp
At exactly 7:53 on a Saturday morning, 9 students and 2 teachers arrived at the Ultimate Examination Centre (TUEC). TUEC is the venue for the Mathematics Olympiad qualification examination. The students and teachers that arrived just now are none other than from Nightingale Academy.TUEC is an examination hall owned by the state government. It has 2 large halls where students write examinations and each hall can accommodate up to 2000 students at once. It was constructed for the sole purpose of the Mathematics Olympiad. One hall for the junior students while the other for the senior students.For the competition to run smoothly, the state was divided into 4 educational zones and more than a hundred schools are under each zone. Each school from each zone is allowed to select six students from their school, three JSS 3 students and three SSS 2 students, to write the qualification examination in the junior and senior category respectively. Every year since the beginning o
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It’s already towards the end of July, 2018. Students and teachers of secondary schools within Heart city anticipate the beginning of the Mathematics Olympiad TV Quiz show which will begin on the 4th of August, 2018.In Nightingale Academy, the students had just finished their third term examination for the 2017/2018 session. The JSS 3 students however, didn’t take part in the examination as they have written the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), a few weeks before. Since they wrote the BECE, Ayo along with Funmi and Oreoluwa had ample time to study well for the competition. They believe they were more prepared than ever.Meanwhile, the duo of Perfect and Emmanuel also looked forward to the competition. They had just finished their examination a day before and had begun preparing for the Mathematics Olympiad. Although they have been preparing before now, they believed it wasn’t enough. Their mathematics teacher was also readily available