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With chemistry challenge, PZ Cussons rekindles Interest In sciences



With the persistent complaint about the poor standard of education in Nigeria, much is expected from individuals, brands and private sector to deepen their involvement to support government’s effort at raising the quality of the sector.

In the last decade or two, sports and entertainment competitions have been at the forefront, dishing out mouth-watering rewards to winners. It is no wonder most Nigerian children only want to play football, sing or act these days. Worried by this trend, PZ Cussons has stepped in to sponsor and support educational competition that offer high rewards.

According to the company’s Brand Activation Manager Mrs Aishat Yetunde Anaekwe, the brand has not only created and sustained for five years the PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge (PZCCC), but plans to expand the idea in Lagos.

She said the sustainability of the challenge, alongside its bouquet of rewards would motivate young students in the JSS category to work hard.

“By so doing, not just those, who succeed in representing their schools would have developed interest and knowledge in the subject, but all who partook in the race to be amongst the top 3 to represent each school,” she added.

On whether the competition will not distract students from real academic work, she explained that the PZCCC calendar doesn’t clash with student’s normal education or school hours.

“Our scheme complements the secondary school curriculum as the scope of testing is taken from relevant sections of study. The PZCCC actually gives an edge to participating students, as it helps to test their level of preparedness for external examinations. Nonetheless, the overall goal reverberates educational success,” she hinted.

Despite the prospects of the competition and what participants stand to gain, records show that some particular schools have constantly emerged top winners in the contest, thereby raising doubts about democratization of the process. But for the organisers, dominance is not a problem.

“If you are good, you are good; except if we discover malpractice. Otherwise, we have no issues with a school continually sweeping home our awards. In fact, it’s a plus for the school and us,” Anaekwe said.

Speaking further on how the challenge has helped the educational system, she stated that the tons of feedback from stakeholders, especially students and teachers was a clear indication of its impact on developing the science IQ of students on one hand and reading culture on the other.

“The PZCCC operates within the confines of the Nigerian school curriculum, incorporating and drawing questions from all senior secondary class levels to test participants. In all, you have to understand chemistry and basic science to attain relative success,” she added.

On the future of the Chemistry Challenge project, she said, “Premier and Nunu are endearing brands from PZCCC; continuity and consumer satisfaction are amongst our guiding principles. Those values and more are what we intend to translate to the PZCCC in 2018,” she noted.

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