The 20th edition of the National Science and Maths Quiz has been launched in Accra with 135 Senior High Schools (SHS) participating in this year’s competition.
The Senior High School students who are contesting in this year’s quiz will be taken through a mentorship programme to help broaden their interests in the various aspects of the sciences.
Addressing the opening of the quiz competition, the Chief Executive Officer of Prime Time, the organizers of the competition, Nana Ekua Mensah Bonsu said it is imperative for the students not to limit themselves, hence the introduction of the mentorship session.
“This year’s programme is a little special in so many ways because we are also doing some mentorship sessions with the students. We want to broaden their horizons beyond just competing on the stage each year beyond the theory that they are doing,” she explained.
She announced that the mentors will include some past contestants “who are doing well in their career paths as well as other people who are doing well in the science and technology industry to speak to the students so that they know what all the options that are opened to them from this science background that they have taken.”
Nana Ekua Mensah Bonsu recalled that last year, Mfanstipm School in Cape Coast which won the contest was given GHC 50,000.
She was thus hopeful that the 20th edition will have a bigger price package because according to her, they are still in talks with companies and organizations to support the contest.
“Sponsorship is a big issue; it’s a very, very big issue. There were two years in which we didn’t do it at all because we didn’t get sponsorship for it. In 2009, we did it with our own funds so we couldn’t do it until CHASS [Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools] with approval from GES [Ghana Education Service] stepped in to sponsorship.”
“Even with their sponsorship, there is still a big gap when it comes to the prices because organizing something like this takes a lot of logistics. We have 135 schools and we cater for five people per school so you can imagine what the logistics support must be like if you are camping them for about a month and feeding them as well,” she added.
Nana Ekua Mensah Bonsu appealed to corporate organizations and individuals who would like to sponsor the quiz to concentrate is the prize packages such as scholarships, cash prizes, equipment to the schools “because some schools here don’t even have labs. There are science students who write practicals as theory because there are no labs. There is so much people can do to help.”
On her part, the CHASS President, Mrs Cecilia Kwakyi Coffie charged the students to diligently apply all they are taught to assist the development of science and technology in Ghana.
She pointed out that Ghana has a lot of needs which could be solved by technology saying, “we need solutions to a lot of challenges bedeviling our society and we think if we catch you young, you will be in the better position to help in advancing the cause of science and technology in Ghana.”
“The time is now. Our world is classified as the third world…you must develop your potential to create opportunities for wealth creation.”
She counseled them not to “just chew, pour, pass and forget. When you get the opportunity, apply the knowledge you acquired through your studies.”
Mrs Cecilia Kwakyi Coffie further implored teachers to only use the right and effective methods in teaching the children to help them appreciate the subjects.
“Any idea that makes life simple is a breakthrough so explore and invent.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana