Being Text of Speech Presented by Andy Akhigbe, Chairman, The Mathematics Laboratory Limited at The Prize Award Event of the 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship for Bayelsa State, Held at Deeper Life High School, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
Thank you all for coming to witness our first Prize Award Event for the 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship organized for Bayelsa State.
Let me start with this very important advise: To be successful at maths, you need to do two things:
First, practice regularly, and
Second, push yourself out of their comfort zone.
While it’s pretty clear that to practice regularly means we have to dust ourselves up daily and ensure we engage with Mathematics, we may not be too sure what it means to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
The first thing is to understand what a comfort zone is. A comfort zone is where we are at most comfortable, where we are in a state of comfort. It is the place where we find rest from work. It is the place where we are at our most secured. As much as it is a place where we are comfy, it can also mean the place where we are experiencing stagnancy. As much as it supports our comfort, it can also be the place where we slowly waste away and eventually die.
Do you know what is mostly said of still waters. A man who is in a place of comfort is like still waters. You know how mosquitoes are attracted to still waters. They need stagnant water to be able to lay their eggs. If the water isn’t stagnant, mosquitoes are never attracted to it. Our comfort zone is like the stagnant water that mosquitoes find so attractive to lay their eggs. When you’re in your comfort zone you have come to the place of stagnation. There is a saying that a great captain is known in rough and turbulent waters. The same applies to those who will excel at Mathematics. The reason why majority don’t excel in Mathematics is that we give up too easily and we don’t push ourselves out of our complacent situations often. Mathematics isn’t for those who are not willing to go out there and face their demons. While it is important that you fail, it is noteworthy that you never give up and tell yourself that you’re not a Math person. Those who become Math persons today didn’t give up. They failed like you. The only difference between them and you is that they never gave up.
For you to make an impact in Mathematics, you must be willing to push yourself beyond the boundaries you have set for yourself. A student who is in his comfort zone won’t be willing to practice daily because that sets him/her up to fail daily. It’s that need to set yourself up daily to fail, to leave a place of rest and comfort, that makes you banish anxiety and fear to fail in Mathematics.
It’s important to know the reason why Mathematics isn’t like any other subject and why it demands that you engage with it regularly. Mathematics is one of subjects that requires that you be in constant engagement with it. You don’t deal with Mathematics as you please. You simply just engage with it through daily practice and endure with the inconvenience of not resting in a place of comfort. Those who have gained proficiency in Mathematics will attest to the fact that it is one subject that rewards the more you push yourself beyond your boundaries.
Today, we encourage our Champions and those who aspire to be celebrated like these ones in future to take these two counsels to heart: Ensure you practice daily and ensure that you leave your fear and anxiety behind in your comfort zone.
Before we start with the award of prizes, permit me to mention one of the Champions today, whose score of 54% was adjudged the best JS2 result in the entire competition involving both the 6 South West States and Bayelsa State. We consider this an achievement given that this student stood out among the 600 students who took the assessment.
Finally, I want to thank Mr. Emmanuel Eze, the Principal of Deeper Life High School, Yenagoa, who provided 96 students from the total of 122 that represented the schools in Bayelsa State. My appreciation also goes to Mr. John Edunjobi, the Head of Mathematics Department of Deeper Life High School for all the assistance in making this championship a big success. And to the other schools which participated, I offer my appreciation to you all.
Today, join me as we recognize and reward 22 students, 1 Principal and 1 school, all as Champions of the 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship for Bayelsa State.
We look forward to your joining us later this year for the 2018 Naija English Championship. This English Championship will be National and it’s our first attempt to assess students nationwide after we have assessed students in Lagos, the entire 6 states in the South West and Bayelsa State.
Thank you all and God bless.