Ghana National Science and Maths Quiz
|National Science and Maths Quiz|
|Presented by||Elsie Effah Kaufmann|
|Country of origin||Ghana|
|Original network||GTV, Joy News|
|Original release||1993 –|
The National Science and Maths Quiz is an annual science and mathematics content-based national level quiz competition for senior high schools in Ghana. It has been produced by Primetime Limited, an education-interest advertising and public relations agency, since 1993.
The objective of the National Science & Maths Quiz is to promote the study of the sciences and mathematics, help students develop quick thinking and a probing and scientific mind about the everyday world around them, while fostering healthy academic rivalry among senior high schools.
The quiz, originally sponsored by "Brillant Soap", is popularly referred to as “Brilla” by many who have gone through the secondary school system is by far one of the few academic events that brings all of Ghana's secondary schools together. The schools and students look forward to it. The National Science and Maths Quiz is the longest running educational programme on Ghanaian television. It is broadcast on GTV every Saturday at 11am and Wednesdays at 4pm.
The idea for the production of a quiz programme aimed at encouraging the study of the sciences and mathematics was not mooted at a national science fair or conference. It happened on the tennis court of the University of Ghana, Legon in 1993. Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, then Managing Director of Primetime, was on the court to play a tennis game with his playmates, the late Professors Marian Ewurama Addy and Ebenezer Kweku Awotwe. Mensa-Bonsu was curious as to why birds could stand on a live electric wire without getting electrocuted, but human beings could not do same. From Awotwe's explanation, Mensa-Bonsu got the idea of putting together a quiz programme on science and maths.
When the quiz started, it involved only 32 schools across the country, and these were divided into the Northern Sector and Southern Sector, with 16 schools per sector. Winners in both sectors were then brought to Accra for the national championship. Prempeh College won the maiden edition.
In 1997, the geographical sector system was abandoned, and two northern sector schools (from the old format), Opoku Ware School and Prempeh College made it to the finals where Opoku Ware School won their first trophy.
In 1998, the tournament became known as the National Science & Maths Quiz, when it lost its sponsorship from Brillant. From 2000, the number of schools was increased to 40 and in 2013, the number of participating schools went up to 81, although 66 turned up for the competition. Thus, the participation format was changed to three schools competing per contest, instead of two, as had been the case since the programme's inception. To give the programme a national character, the quiz has since 2014 involved 135 schools from all parts of Ghana.
The first quiz mistress was the late Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, professor of biochemistry at the University of Ghana, Legon. She was quiz-mistress from 1993-2000. “When in 1993/94, during the planning of a televised quiz programme on Science, I was asked to be the Quiz Mistress, I could not say No”, she wrote in her memoir, Rewards: An Autobiography. “I was interested in females becoming scientists and this was an opportunity to invite the young ones to become scientists…I thought that this was a most effective way of being a role model,” she added. In recognition of her contribution to promoting the study of Science and Mathematics among girls through the NSMQ, Prof. Addy was named the Marketing Woman of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana in 1995.
Dr. Eureka Emefa Adomako, a botanist at the University of Ghana, Legon, took over as quiz-mistress from 2001 to 2005, having been recommended by Prof. Addy. Dr. Adomako took charge of the programme until she had to leave for postgraduate studies. Before leaving, just as Prof. Addy recommended her as quiz mistress, Dr. Adomako recommended that Dr. Kaufmann take over as quiz mistress.
In 2006, Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, the Head of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, took over as quiz mistress. Over the past ten years, she has succeeded in bringing her own style to the programme, occasionally injecting some humour into an otherwise formal programme. As the chairperson of the moderation team, Dr. Kaufmann is supported by a team of consultants made up of Prof. W.A. Asomaning, Dr. Ebenezer Owusu, Dr. Amos Kuditcher and Dr. Douglas Adu-Gyamfi, all of the University of Ghana, Legon.
Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School, (PRESEC-Legon) is the most successful school in the quiz so far, with five titles. Together with the St. Peter's Senior Secondary School, PRESEC has been to the finals a record 8 times. Achimota School is the only unisex school to have won the competition so far. No all-girls school has ever won the competition. Only 11 schools out of the more than 900 senior high schools in Ghana have won the competition since its inception.
From 2012, the Ghana Education Service, through the Conference of Heads of Assisted Schools took up the sponsorship of the programme. Thus, the competition was opened up to many more schools to participate, with a three-team format per contest. Two schools had contested against each other in each contest for the competitions from 1994 to 2009. In 2013, 66 out of the 81 invited schools participated. In 2014, the number of schools was increased to 135 to give the programme a truly national character. From 2014, 108 schools are selected from regional competitions to join 27 seeded schools (quarter-finalists from the previous year's competition) at the National Championships.
Three schools compete in each contest and each school is represented by two contestants. The quiz mistress is Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann. Currently, every contest is composed of five rounds with the following rules:
- Round 1 — The round of fundamental questions. Each contesting school has to answer 4 Biology, 4 Chemistry, 4 Physics and 4 Mathematics questions. A wrongly answered question may be carried over as a bonus. Partial credit is sometimes awarded by the quiz mistress.
- Round 2 — This new round is called the speed race
- Round 3 — This round is known as the Problem of the Day. The contestants are required to solve a single question, worth 10 points, within 3 minutes.
- Round 4 — True or False statements are given to the contestants in turns. The objective is to determine whether each statement is true or false. A correctly answered question fetches 2 points. A wrongly answered questions attracts a penalty of -1 point. One may decide not to answer a question, in which case it will be carried over as a bonus for the full benefit of the two points.
- Round 5 — Riddles; Clues are given to the contesting schools. The schools are to compete against each other to find the answers to the riddles. Getting the correct answer on the first clue fetches 5 points. On the second clue, 4 points are awarded for a correct answer. On the third or any other succeeding clue, a question answered correctly is given 3 points. There are 4 riddles in all.
List of past winners
|Year||Winning school||1st Runner-up||2nd Runner-up|
|1994||Prempeh College, Kumasi||Achimota School|
|1995||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||Opoku Ware School|
|1996||Prempeh College, Kumasi||Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School, Legon|
|1997||Opoku Ware School, Kumasi||Prempeh College|
|1998||Achimota School, Accra||St. Peter's Senior High School||Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School, Legon|
|1999||Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast||Wesley Girls' High School||Opoku Ware School|
|2000||St. Peter's Senior Secondary School, Nkwatia||Mfantsipim School||Achimota School|
|2001||Pope John Secondary School, Koforidua||Ghana Secondary Technical School||Chemu Senior High School|
|2002||Opoku Ware School, Kumasi||St. Peter's Senior High School|
|2003||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||Opoku Ware School||St. Peter's Senior High School|
|2004||Achimota School, Accra||St. Peter's Senior Secondary School||Prempeh College|
|2005||St. Peter's Senior Secondary School, Nkwatia||Opoku Ware School||Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School, Legon|
|2006||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||St. Peter's Senior High School|
|2007||St. Augustine's College, Cape Coast||Kumasi Anglican Senior High School||Accra Academy|
|2008||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||Opoku Ware School||Wesley Girls' High School|
|2009||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||Achimota School||Kumasi Anglican Senior High School|
|2010||No competition held||N/A||N/A|
|2011||No competition held||N/A||N/A|
|2012||Ghana Secondary Technical School, Takoradi||St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary||Achimota School|
|2013||St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Accra||Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School||Mfantsiman Girls Senior High School|
|2014||Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast||Ghana Secondary Technical School||St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary|
|2015||Prempeh College, Kumasi||Adisadel College||University Practice Senior High School|
|2016||Adisadel College, Cape Coast||Opoku Ware School||Mfantsipim School|
|2017||Prempeh College, Kumasi||St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School||Adisadel College|
|2018||St. Peter's Senior High School||West Africa Senior High School||Adisadel College|
|2019||St. Augustine's College, Cape Coast||Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon||St. Peter's Senior Secondary School|
Here is the league of finalists at the National Science and Math Quiz.
|Rank||School||Number of wins||Years won||Number of finals||1st Runner-up||2nd Runner-up|
|1||Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School||5||1995, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009||8||3||2|
|2||Prempeh College||4||1994, 1996, 2015, 2017||5||1||1|
|3||St. Peter's Senior High School||3||2000, 2005, 2018||8||4||2|
|4||Opoku Ware School||2||1997, 2002||7||5||1|
|5||Achimota School||2||1998, 2004||4||2||2|
|6||Mfantsipim School||2||1999, 2014||4||1||1|
|7||St. Augustine's College||2||2007, 2019||2||0||0|
|8||Ghana Secondary Technical School||1||2012||3||2||0|
|10||St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Secondary School||1||2013||2||1||0|
|11||Pope John Secondary School||1||2001||1||0||0|
|12||St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary||0||N/A||2||1||1|
|13||Kumasi Anglican Senior High School||0||N/A||1||1||1|
|13||Wesley Girls' High School||0||N/A||1||1||1|
|15||West Africa Senior High School||0||N/A||1||1||0|
|16||Mfantsiman Girls' Senior High School||0||N/A||1||0||1|
|16||University Practice Senior High School||0||N/A||1||0||1|
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