Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon, made it a record of seven-time winners of the National Science and Maths Quiz on Wednesday night, when they pulled a final round surprise to overtake Kumasi based Prempeh College to win the ultimate in 2022.
They pulled the surprise in the final round 5 when they overtook Prempeh College who had led in the earlier rounds.
PRESEC ended the final round with 50 points as against 41 by Prempeh College and 32 points by Adisadel College.
From the KNUST campus in Kumasi, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon silenced the vociferous supporters of Prempeh College on home ground to secure the bragging rights as winners of this year’s National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ)
The keenly contested quiz lived up to its billing, as the two schools kept the pressure on each other, with Prempeh leading from the second to the fourth round by just a point.
However, in the fifth and final round, the boys from Legon in Accra answered three out of the five riddles to overtake Prempeh.
When PRESEC got the third riddle right, students of Prempeh College began to file out of the hall, as it had become clear to them that their school’s dream of lifting the trophy for a record-equalling sixth time could not materialise.
PRESEC, by Wednesday’s victory, has not only maintained its record as the school with the most wins in the competition — seven — but also widened the gap between it and Prempeh College in terms of winning the quiz to two.
At the end of the competition, PRESEC had 50 points, as against 41 by Prempeh College and 32 by Adisadel College.
‘Seven’ a living God
It was a sweet revenge for the PRESECANS who lost to Prempeh College last year, thereby being denied the opportunity to make it seven.
Prempeh College could not repeat last year’s thrilling performance of host-and-win to equal the record of their rivals in the NSMQ competition.
John Anim Tenkorang and Alfred Ken Nsiah of PRESEC made sure their school ‘saw light’ in the midst of the light in the hall.
Wednesday’s contest marked the 11th time PRESEC had appeared at the final of the competition, winning seven of them, while Prempeh College was at the final for the seventh time, winning five of them.
Adisadel College, on the other hand, made its seventh appearance at the final, winning only once.
Sharing his experience as a NSMQ contestant for PRESEC in the 1997 competition, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC),Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, said the competition ignited in him and his fellow contestants the passion to search for knowledge.
“Personally, the biggest experience in science is the process known to most of us as the scientific method. The meticulous empirical method has characterised the development of science. Science teaches us that it does not matter how smart or knowledgeable one is, one cannot hasten the process,” he said.
Mr Danquah urged the contestants and students in general not to relent in their quest to seek knowledge.
According to him, true scientists were not the ones who gave the right answers but rather “those who ask the right questions. The important thing is to never stop questioning”.
Otumfuo’s Hiahene, Oheneba Professor Boachie Adjei, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as the guest speaker, commended Primetime Limited, organisers of the quiz, for promoting the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) over the years.
He said the study and application of science played a pivotal role in the development of every country and called for the need to promote STEM to enable the country to produce the needed manpower that would spur its development.
Oheneba Adjei, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, said the NSMQ had, for the past 29years, sustained schools’ interest in science and commended the organisers for sustaining the competition, which had become nationally and internationally accepted.
He commended the finalists for making their schools proud and making it to the final stage of the competition.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Executive Officer of the Students Loan Trust, Nana Agyei Yeboah, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, deplored the low enrolment of students in science at the senior high schools (SHS) level.
He said currently, enrolment in science programmes at SHSs was 12 per cent, adding that as part of the effort to promote STEM, the government had renovated some science laboratories in SHSs and was building STEM schools throughout the country.
The minister said 10 STEM schools were being built, with four of them fully completed to expand access to STEM. In addition, Dr Adutwum said, the government was building girls’ STEM boarding schools to encourage women’s participation and interest in STEM.
The Minister of Education said the government had also introduced pre-engineering courses for non-science students who would want to study science at the university.
He said the Pentecost University and the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, were currently piloting the programme, which targeted mainly Visual Arts students with the creative mind to venture into science.
Dr Adutwum said the access course was for a year after the student had been admitted to the preferred course.