Just last week, the national maths and science quiz (NMSQ) refereed once again by Dr Elsie Efah Kaufmann pronounced Prempeh College as the winner of this year’s competition taking over from Adisadel college who was the last year champion. It was indeed a beautiful sight to behold as our children display their intellectual power. I was actually mesmerized by the extraordinary means by which some of the students responded to their questions and the subsequent frenzy that took old students to flight.

This notwithstanding, I have my reservations on the objectivity of the entire competition. I have come to believe that the NMSQ is just like WAEC, the examination body which awards both senior high and junior high school certificates in Ghana. As a student of psychology, I feel that the entire educational setup in this country needs an absolute redefinition and restructuring.

There are students who still study under trees in Ghana. Others are rural dwellers who do not understand the concept of electricity albeit they have been taught in books. Why do WAEC prepare the same set of questions for all students without recourse to these variables? There are also some rural areas like my village Kanjarga in the upper East region where one teacher acts as the headmaster and all courses teacher in the Local Authority (LA) school. Teachers also refuse postings into that community despite the stipulations of the directive principles of the republic of Ghana in article 38 clauses (1) and (2) of the 1992 constitution that posits that all persons shall have equal right to education and the implementation of the Free Compulsory Universal  Basic Eduaction (FCUBE).

Similarly, there are deprived and extremely resourced senior high schools in this country. They have been classified into First class, second class and third class schools. I don not even know if I should tag the recent Community Day schools as fourth or Fifth grade schools. “By what indicators were these schools classified?”    This I think must be considered.

I also know for a fact that Prempeh College, Adisadel College, MFantsipim School, Opoku Ware, St. Thomas Aquinas, Presbyterian Boys( PRESEC), Ghana secondary Technical school (GSTS), St. Augustine’s college, Achimota School, etc are first class schools and interestingly, these are the very schools that have emerged winners in the NMSQ since its inception in 1994 and the fact is listed below;

☞ Prempeh College, Kumasi, 1994

☞ Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, 1995

☞ Prempeh College, Kumasi, 1996

☞ Opoku Ware School, Kumasi, 1997

☞ Achimota School, Accra, 1998

☞ Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, 1999

☞ St. Peter’s Secondary School, Nkwatia, 2000

☞ Pope John Secondary School, Koforidua, 2001

☞ Opoku Ware School, Kumasi, 2002

☞ Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, 2003

☞ Achimota School, Accra, 2004

☞ St. Peter’s Secondary School, Nkwatia, 2005

☞ Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, 2006

☞ St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, 2007

☞ Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, 2008

☞ Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, 2009

☞ Ghana Secondary Technical School, Takoradi, 2012

☞ St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Accra, 2013

☞ Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, 2014

☞ Prempeh College, Kumasi, 2015

☞ Adisadel College, Cape Coast, 2016

☞ Prempeh College, Kumasi, 2017

Shall we then say that this is a fair competition?

My alma Mater, SDA High School in Ashanti Bekwai has been labeled a second class school according to the schools Placement manual. Jachie Pramso and Amaniampomg high schools have also been recorded as third class schools. It is however fresh in my memory how Jachie Pramso science students had to travel all the way to Bekwai just to have their science practicals In our science resource center. Could this be one of the indicators that earned them the status of a third class school?

I therefore feel that a science competition like NMSQ should have considered objectivity and scientific measurements in the selection of contesting schools. Why did they not allow first class schools compete separately while second does same as well as third class schools? Is it not unscientific, subjective and frivolous when the Ghana Amputees soccer team is made to compete the blackstars?

Is it not irrational if prempeh college is made to compete Fumbisi secondary school in the pre-selection series?

I am by this opinion piece imploring all stake holders such as GES, CHASS, the NMSQ board, NAGRAT and all other concerned Ghanaians to scientifically deal with educational and para academic events in this country before a false concept of academic superiority is created in this country.

Source:Thomas  Akanyibah