The school, located in Ikeja, Lagos, came first after an educating and painstaking contest that saw five schools broken into 10 teams go head to head in answering diverse questions around literature.
“The idea of the quiz actually came up when I had a daughter who at age six wasn’t interested in reading, so I thought of starting up a quiz that will reward readers. I reached out to Kids’ Lit Quiz International that I would love to start it up in our country as we had the challenge of children being distracted by several social influences,” Maluchi Chukwuemeka, national coordinator of Kids’ Lit Quiz Nigeria, told BusinessDay.
“I chose literature because it exposes the mind of children, helping them to explore and relate perfectly well when they read,” she added.
The 10 teams that competed include Trinity International College 1, Trinity High 2, Trinity International 3, Trinity International College 4, Grange High 1, Grange High 2, White Dove High school 1, White Dove High school 2, The Lagoon 1 and Chalcedony school 1.
The first phase of the quiz saw five teams, including Trinity International College 1, Trinity International College 2, Grange School 1, Grange School 2 and The Lagoon scale through to the next round.
The second round of the quiz finally put Grange School 1 ahead, beating the remaining five teams to emerge the winner. Trinity international college team 1 came second while Trinity international college team 4 took third.
The four members in Grange School 1 will be in Singapore on July 8-15 to represent Nigeria in the world finals, where they will compete with 10 other countries of the world.
Chukwuemeka noted that there was no special criterion for the selection of the schools as the standard criterion worldwide is that a school that wants to participate must pay $100.
“However, we advise schools participating to select children who are readers. We reached out to about 200 schools but only about five got in for the competition. However, we believe with time more schools will get interested when they hear the story about how far these students will go,” Chukwuemeka said.
Christine Lemeh, senior librarian, Grange School, said she was amazed seeing that the school scaled through with the little time it had to prepare. “The school is very supportive, giving every child the opportunity to explore in all areas”.
Wayne Mills, founder, Kids’ Lit Quiz, said the quiz, an annual literature quiz for students aged 10-13 years, started in New Zealand in 1991. Today, quizzes are held in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom and the USA. Mills reads enough books to write several thousand questions each year and some of his questions are available at Question Bank.
“People were rewarded for playing sports and games, but no one got rewarded for being a reader, so I thought I should start a competition where children can be rewarded for their reading ability,” said Mills, who is also the international quizmaster.
He said Chukwuemeka asked the team to come to Nigeria “because she feels that the profile of reading needed to be boosted in the international space so the world could see that the Nigerian kids and the country are intelligent in reading because you have to judge a country based on its standard of literacy”.
Speaking further, Chukwuemeka said the competition would help in giving Nigeria, participating schools and the children international exposure as Nigeria is the first all-black team to participate in the competition.
“We believe with time other regions will come in so we can have a wider range of people benefit from this learning exposure, hence we solicit more private/corporate sponsors. The registration for 2020 commences immediately as Nigeria (Lagos region) needs a minimum of 20 teams to host the quizmaster next year. Also, any other region in Nigeria that wants to participate for 2020 should also have a minimum of 20 teams,” she said.