Ghana’s premier senior high school (SHS), Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, last Friday won the 2014 National Science and Maths Quiz in style, 15 years after it won the trophy.
That was after Mfantsipim, represented by Archibald Henry Enniful and Isaac Kontomah, had defeated the Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) in Takoradi and St Francis Xavier Junior Seminary in Wa to lift the giant trophy at stake.
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At the end of the one hour event, held at the R.S. Amegashie Auditorium at the University of Ghana, Mfantsipim had 55 points, while GSTS and St Francis Xavier bagged 41 and 28 points, respectively.
The last time Mfantsipim won the National Science and Maths Quiz was in 1999. The school went to the final again in 2000 but lost to St Peter’s SHS at Nkwatia-Kwahu.
In the first round of the grueling competition, Mfantsipim took a commanding lead with 28 points, followed by GSTS with 23 points and St Francis Xavier with 13 points.
In the second round of the contest, which was on the theme, Problem of the Day, Mfantsipim had eight points, with GSTS and St Francis Xavier winning five points each.
Each of the schools scored 10 points in the True or False session, which was the third round.
In the fourth and last round, which was the Riddles Session, Mfantsipim had nine points, GSTS had three, while St Francis Xavier had nothing.
After the declaration of the final results, there was spontaneous jubilation by the Kwabotwe Boys, who had missed out on the trophy since 1999.
Mfantsipim took home GH¢40,000 for winning the competition, while the teachers accompanying the contestants and the contestants themselves received GH¢5,000 each.
These prizes were sponsored by ECOBANK Ghana.
The GSTS received GH¢25,000 for placing second, with the teachers and the contestants receiving GH¢2,500 each.
St Francis Xavier was presented with GH¢15,000, with the teachers and the contestants receiving GH¢2,000.
Back at Mfantsipim School, the students expressed their excitement over the news that their school had won the National Science and Maths Quiz.
The Mfantsipim contestants, Archibald, Isaac and Derrick, their super-sub, had been preparing for the competition for the past one year because they were determined to win the trophy for the school before leaving their beloved school.
According to the contestants, who completed SHS this year, after writing their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), they also sought divine intervention in the course of their preparations for the favour of God to crown their hard work with success.
The President of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Mr Samuel Ofori-Adjei, in an address, underscored the need for Science and Mathematics education to be given adequate attention because they were a key driving force for national development.
The National Science and Maths Quiz, which is produced by Primetime Limited, began in October 1993, with the late Prof Ewurama Addy, formerly of the Chemistry Department of the University of Ghana, as the host.
Later, Dr Eureka Emefa Adomako of the Botany Department of the University of Ghana took over.
Dr Elsie Effah Kaufman of the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Ghana is the current host of the programme.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) and CHASS are the main sponsors of the event.
Mfantsipim School boasts eminent scholars and personalities, including the current Vice-President of Ghana, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur; the immediate-past United Nations Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan, and the Prime Minister of the Second Republic, the late Prof Kofi Abrefa Busia.