Prempeh College calls for suspension of contest until protest resolved
The old students of Prempeh College have called on Primetime Limited to put on hold the final of this year’s National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) until the school’s protest over their answer to a riddle question during the semi-final stage of the contest is looked into and addressed.
Consequently, the old students and school authorities have called for an independent body to be set up to that effect to look into the matter and rule on it before the final, to clear all the doubts over the concerns raised by the school.
They said the Ministry of Education or the Physics Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) could do that.
A member of the old students, Ebenezer Owusu Wireko, told the Daily Graphic that competent physicists, about three or five of them, could sit and then rule on the matter, adding that they only wanted the world to know that they were right.
He said until an independent body analysed this issue, the “quiz final should be suspended”
“So our position is that we want a competent body to sit and hear our side of the story and hear the side of Primetime as well.
“I mean, it is not just about going to the finals or anything, we want people to know that science is science and you cannot just disrespect Prempeh College and move on.
Science is science, if it is ‘A’ it is, if it is ‘B’ so it is.
You cannot use discretion to rule and then tell people that the quizmistress used her own discretion and all that, meanwhile, you couldn’t even quote one scientific paper that says that the thing is called linear superposition,” he said.
Prempeh College, in a letter, dated October 24, 2023, signed by the NSMQ Coordinator, P. B. Damoah, said the school believed that it filed the protest within the permissible time frame as per the NSMQ rules but it appeared Primetime seemed to suggest there was another procedure that they did not follow, which the school was not aware of.
It requested a true copy or copies of the competition rules, adding that it was ready to make further presentation(s), if need be anytime before the final competition to set the record straight.
“We believe that Primetime cannot rely on the same Physics Consultant who has relied on unconfirmed and unconventional concepts, which is unrelated to the question the competition asked to justify the rejection of the correct answer our contestant gave,” it said, and added that given that it might have reached an impasse, it requested that an independent consultant or body be engaged to bring finality to the matter since one could not be a judge in his own case.
“We are resolute in our minds that our answer is correct, and we will take all available steps and means, including legal, if necessary, to ensure that Prempeh College and its contestants are given a fair hearing.
In instances where we have exited the competition, we have supported Primetime and the winning school and congratulated them.
This is the first time we have had to engage Primetime on this level because we genuinely believe in the position we have taken,” it said.
It said the school would refer the issue to other international institutions and experts, and furnish the organisers with copies of their responses at the appropriate time.
In response to its earlier protest after the contest, Primetime Limited upheld the quizmistress’s decision not to award any marks to Prempeh College for the answer it gave to a riddle in the semi-final contest with Opoku Ware Senior High School (OWASS) and Pope John’s SHS & Minor Seminary, on Thursday, October 19, 2023.
At the end of the contest, Prempeh College and Pope John's had 36 points apiece while Opoku Ware won the contest with 38 points.
Prempeh had disputed the answer to a riddle in the fifth round of the competition and called for a review and acceptance of its contestant’s answer, as well as the overturn of the results of the contest in favour of the school.
Among other things, a letter, dated October 21, 2023, signed by the Managing Director of Primetime Limited, Nana Akua A. Mensa-Bonsu, said following consultations with the resident Physics consultant, the quizmistress, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, the ruling was affirmed.
It said when Prempeh College raised the objections at the competition grounds, it was reviewed by the Physics consultant, who explained the concepts to the team and it accepted it.
It, therefore, said the turnaround and insinuation that a deliberate injustice had been carried out against Prempeh College was rather surprising.
Meanwhile, the stage is set for the grand finale of the 2023 NSMQ at the National Theatre in Accra for a showdown involving the reigning champions, the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School (Presec, Legon), which has won the competition seven times, the 1998 and 2004 winners, Achimota School, and OWASS, the 1997 and 2002 champions.
In the semi final contest, Presec, Legon accounted for two-time champions, Mfantsipim School (1999 and 2014) and Keta Senior High Technical School (KETASCO), which has never won the contest although it has endeared itself very well in the NSMQ.
At the end of the competition, Presec had 44 points as against Mfantsipim 40 and Ketasco 39.
Achimota, on the other hand, clinched victory over tough opponents with 41 points over Wesley Girls’ High School, 31 points, and St. Louis SHS, 26 points.
OWASS clinched victory over bitterest rivals, Prempeh College (five-time winners), and Pope John’s, the 2001 champions.
The final is slated for today at the National Theatre.