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The Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon, secured the bragging rights as the most successful school in the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) after winning their eighth trophy in Accra yesterday.
PRESEC, who are also defending champions, garnered 40 points after five thrilling rounds of pure academic entertainment against Achimota SHS and Opoku Ware SHS, both two-time champions, who got 28 points and 23 points respectively.
PRESEC went home with GH¢70,000 for their winning effort, while Achimota and Opoku Ware got GH¢50,000 and GH¢35,000, respectively.
Early lead, close call
At the National Theatre in Accra, PRESEC, the 12-time finalists, were dominant by the close of the second round, finishing the stage with 23 points, while Achimota and Opoku Ware trailed with 12 and 14 points respectively.
The Achimotans, however, came alive during the fourth stage, the true or false round, where they made grounds on their rivals.
The five-time finalists rode their momentum as they answered seven out of the eight questions they faced, climbing up just behind PRESEC, with Opoku Ware now a distant third.
The round ended with PRESEC on 31 points, Achimota with 28 and Opoku Ware, nine-time finalists, with 20 points
All this while, the supporters kept the auditorium alive with loud cheers and songs, waving school flags and other paraphernalia.
Within the audience, the drama was no less intense.
Old students were at each other’s throats with comedy-filled remarks and teases as to whose alma mater was superior.
The Legon boys, the only school to win back-to-back twice in 2008 and 2009 and then 2022 and 2023, clinched the 2023 NSMQ deal with an almost impeccable performance in the final round of the competition — the riddle round.
Achimota, despite having come so close, appeared powerless as a re-energised PRESEC strode through the riddle session in comfortable fashion, with their representatives showing infectious emotions at the final bell.
Nana Akua Mensa-Bonsu, Managing Director of Primetime Ltd, organisers of the programme, said over the last 30 years, Primetime had created a solid and resilient brand that had weathered many storms and continued to engage not only the youth, but the old as well.
She, however, called on the government and corporate entities to support her outfit’s plan of building an all Africa Science and Maths Quiz that would foster African unity through healthy academic competition.
“Would it not be wonderful if Ghana could export such a strong intellectual product to the world? In the spirit of our interest in the “African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), an intellectual competition of the calibre of the NSMQ can and should be exported,” Ms Mensa-Bonsu added.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who represented the President, congratulated all schools that had participated in the competition from the onset.
He urged all students and young people to be inspired by the contest to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), saying this was a programme of study identified and proven to be the vehicle of any nation’s growth and development.
“Let it continue to be an inspiration for all schools who didn’t win. My own school, Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary almost got there but couldn’t make it. We wish the various schools the best,” he said.
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, praised the government for the investment in STEM, saying it had significantly boosted interest in the competition.
He urged the participants to view themselves as winners irrespective of the results, saying the competition had enabled them to master the ability to think outside the box and on their feet, a skill, he said, would take them far in life.
“So don’t despair if it’s not your time,” the Minister of Education added
SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE