The Ghana Education Service (GES) has expressed its commitment to ensure that the National Science and Math Quiz (NSMQ) comes off as scheduled.
“Let me start by assuring everyone, particularly the schools and their students, that the science and Maths quiz will definitely take place,” the Director-General of the GES, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, has declared.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, he acknowledged the delay in the release of funds meant for the program, but added: “We are working to raise the money early enough for them.”
He stressed the government’s commitment to support science and mathematics education in schools.
Already, the qualifying series for the contest have taken off in earnest in the Western and the Western North regions, in spite of the decision by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) to stay away from the competition due to inadequate funds.
In the Western North Region, the qualification contest on Monday, February 10, 2020 had the Bia Senior High and Technical School (SHTS) come tops with 25 points, followed by the Sefwi Wiawso SHS with 20 points; Nana Brentu SHS, 18 points; Juaboso SHS, nine points, while the Sefwi Bekwai and the Bodi SHSs secured five and three points, respectively.
In the other contest, Bibiani SHTS emerged first with 21 points, with the Nsawora SHS, 18 points; the Sefwi Wiawso SHTS, eight points, the Asawinso SHS, 15 points, and the Dadieso SHS, 11 points, following in that order.
In the first Western Regional contest, the Archbishop Porter Girls’ SHS came first with 46 points, with the Sekondi College placing second with 18 points, followed by the Shama SHS, 10 points; the Daboase SHTS, nine points, and the Gwiraman SHS, seven points.
The second contest saw the Tarkwa SHS emerging winners after amassing 35 points, followed by the Nkroful Agricultural SHS, 21 points; the Annor Adjaye SHS, 21 points, with the Asankragwa SHS and the Huni Valley SHS securing 13 points apiece.
There were contests last Tuesday, giving indications that the quiz would proceed without any hitch.
Request to schools
The Managing Director of Primetime Limited, organisers of the NSMQ, Nana Akua Ankomah-Asare, confirmed that the quiz would go ahead as expected.
She confirmed that the Western and the Western North regions had had their contests and that the next region would be Upper East.
There was a scare last Thursday when CHASS, in a letter, said it would be difficult for schools to organise their students for this year’s NSMQ at the regional and the national levels as a result of inadequate funds,a letter signed by the President of CHASS, Alhaji Yakub A.B. Abubakar, and addressed to the Director-General of the GES said.
Commitment of government
However, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said, “the government is committed to supporting this program, which has been running over the past 25 years or more”.
He said the GES was aware that the schools had already gone through balloting “and we encourage them to take their preparations seriously and participate in the quiz”.
He also encouraged schools which had not been participating in the quiz to try and do so, since it was a way of encouraging the learning of the sciences in schools.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa invited corporate bodies to fully support the GES and the government to sustain the contest, which he said was enjoyed by all.
As harmattan intensifies, the Ghana Meteorological Agency has warned of an increased chance of fire outbreaks.
Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has indicated that it's time for the government to evacuate Ghanaian students in China.
According to him, no Ghanaian case has been confirmed in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak in China therefore it is prudent for the government to evacuate the students now to prevent them from contracting the deadly disease.
Speaking on Asempa FM today, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Mr Ablakwa said: ''Time is of the essence because as we speak when you check the portals no Ghanaian case has been reported. So this is the time to act, most of the universities are reporting first cases and the cases are going up. They are leaving the country with the students under lockdown. It is very dangerous. So you can move in and evacuate your nationals that is what you do in situations like this. That is what most countries do.''
Mr Ablakwa added that the trapped students in China are the same people who will return to the country to help develop the country hence must be evacuated immediately
''Some are doing accounting, medicine and other courses they will come back to help us develop.No one is in China idling they are trying their best to help the country when they arrive. Ghana is amongst few poor countries. Even Libya, Pakistan have evacuated their nationals so what could be the excuse. What justification do we have to abandon our nationals just like that''.
The over 150 students in Wuhan have called on the government to bring them back to Ghana due to the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The students have accused the Ghana government of not listening to their plea and Mr Ablakwa says the government needs to act fast because other countries are evacuating their nationals.
The Chamber of Pharmacy, Ghana (CoPG) has halted the supply of drugs to hospitals over the delayed NHIS payments.
Delegates within the New Patriotic Party, Shama Constituency, have been asked to reward the Nana Addo led administration and the incumbent Member of Parliament for the area, with another term for a continued and inclusive development.
The Ghana Police Service has revealed that the setting ablaze of the crime scene at which Ruth Eshun, a nurse with the Sewua Health Center, was murdered will not affect their investigations.
Takoradi Technical University in partnership with ConstructPRO Innovations has cut sod for the construction of a $5 million multipurpose hostel to reduce the accommodation challenges facing the University.