It was celebration galore last Saturday for the Lagos State Ministry of Education when three pupils of the state’s public schools produced three winners in the grand finale of the PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge (PZCCC).
Tadese Fatai of the Abibat Mogaji Senior Secondary School, Iloro, Agege, Lagos State, won the first prize of N1 million while Augustine Iwuoha of the same school won (N500,000) for coming third.
A third pupil, Zhejimatu Anthony of Festac Grammar School, FESTAC Town, came fifth.
Pelumi Adegoke of Newhall International School, Lekki, came second and got N750,000. (New Hall International produced last year’s overall winner, Ogunmola Dara.
Teacher of the fifth place winner also got N50,000.
This is the first time in the history of the five-year-old competition that a public school would win the grand prize – though public school participants have won second or third place in the past.
The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye who was excited by the feat promised to present the winners, including Zhejimatu, to the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who superintendents the education sector, for commendation and further recognition.
It was, however, gathered that when informed of the good news, Dr Adebule said Pelumi of Newhall International School should be brought along with the others.
Speaking of the victory, Mrs Adekanye noted that the feat achieved by the public school pupils was a result of the investment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration in the provision of infrastructure and development of human resources in schools.