This year’s National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), which promises to be fiercely contested by 117 Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country has been launched.
The schools that would be contesting in the competition which was launched on Monday at the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Hall in Accra include 108 regional winners and nine schools who did not win their respective contest but impressed by recording 40 points or better.
The winning school would take home a cash prize of GH¢ 30,000, custom-made trophy and seven gold medals for the three contestants and four subject teachers, while the second and third placed schools would receive a cash prize of GH¢ 20,000 and GH¢15,000 respectively.
Additionally, they would be presented with seven silver and bronze medals for the three contestants and four subject teachers respectively, with the semi-finalists receiving GH¢ 8, 000to be shared among the schools, teachers and contestants.
The competition would start from the October 10 to October 26and would involve 39 rounds at the preliminary stages.
Launching the competition, the Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Education, Mrs Sheila Naa-Boamah representing the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum bemoaned the low level of female representation in the competition.
According to her, the country had the capabilities of changing the narrative as records from West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) performance over the last three years showed that apart from 2020/2021 where two boys emerged as the first and second top performers with a girl occupying the third position,the first top three performers had been females.
She further said that,there was the need for all schools and stakeholders to intervene in addressing the bottle necks that surrounded issue of female participation in such competitions.
Mrs Naa-Boamah therefore, urged Primetime Limited to take particular interest in addressing challenges in relation to the reduction of female participation in the competition.
The Technical Advisor also lauded Primetime and other partners for their contribution in complementing government’s effort in re-engineering the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) educational system.
The Director of Schools and Instructions at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Patty Assan, said her outfit was committed in ensuring that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) became the drivers for national development.
She said “the GES will continue to support the competition as a way of nurturing and enhancing STEM education”.
The Managing Director of Primetime Limited, Mrs Nana Akua Ankomah noted that Primetime Limited had established a partnership with the Swiss Youth in Science Foundation, to provide the opportunity for two Ghanaian students to participate in the International Swiss Talent Forum (ISTF).
The format of the competition, Mrs Ankomah said, was changed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
However, she noted that the competition would revert to its former format, where all the 108 schools who made it National Championship through the regional qualifiers would converge in Kumasi to compete at the preliminary stage.
She also thanked all those who had contributed in diverse ways including the consultants in making the competition a success.
There were also goodwill messages from partner organisations such as Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, absa Bank, GOIL, AirtelTigo, and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) who encouraged the participating schools to give off their best in the competition.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY