Adisadel College won the trophy last year and would try to equal the record of five-time champions, the Presbyterian Boys’ SHS (PRESEC, Legon), the only SHS to have won the trophy back-to-back, in 2008 and 2009.
But Adisadel would have to contend with Prempeh College, winner of the maiden edition in 1994, 1996 and 2015, as well as St Thomas Aquinas who would be aiming to join the list of two-time winners such as Achimota, Mfantsipim, Opoku Ware and St Peter’s SHSs.
Adisadel College would be taking inspiration from some of its successful past students such as Sir Sam Jonah, Chairman of Jonah Capital Limited, the Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP David Nenyi Ampah-Benin; Chief Executive Officer of Ernest Chemists, Mr Ernest Bediako Sampong, while Prempeh College would take motivation from its past students, including former President John Agyekum Kufuor; Dr Kwabena Duffuor, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Minister of Finance; a former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, former chief of staff Mr Kwadwo Mpiani and Prof. Dr Asafo-Agyei Anane Frempong of the Asafo-Agyei Hospital.
St Thomas Aquinas would be galvanised by its prominent past students such as Most Rev. Daniel Sylvanus Torto, the Anglican Bishop of Accra, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Prof. Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Prof. John Gyapong, Most Rev Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai, Catholic Bishop of Yendi and the Editor of Ghana’s biggest selling newspaper, the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh, among others.
The all-boys final can aptly be described as a regional contest as Adisadel College is from Cape Coast in the Central Region; Prempeh College from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and St Thomas Aquinas is based in Accra in the Greater Accra Region.
Only three SHSs have survived to this stage out of a total of 135 public schools that began the competition from the preliminary stage.
Tuesday at the R.S. Amegashie Auditorium at the University of Ghana, Adisadel College escaped a hair’s breath when it emerged winner with 36 points as against 35 for the University Practice SHS with the Ghana National College coming up with 27 points in third place.
The second semi-final saw Prempeh College stamping its authority over Mfantsipim School and first-time semifinalist, Mawuli SHS. At the end of the contest, Prempeh amassed 55 points; Mfantsipim, 49 points and Mawuli, 43 points.
In the third semi-final, St Thomas Aquinas proved the bookmakers wrong when they won with 52 points as against 39 for PRESEC, Legon and 28 for Kumasi High School.
Besides academic considerations, the National Science and Maths Quiz competition offers winning schools ‘bragging rights’ over their counterparts at least for the period they reign as champions.
Interestingly, no girls school has ever won the competition. Champions have come from co-educational and boys schools.
The competition is produced by Primetime Limited and sponsored by the Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), among others.
According to Dr Kwaku Mensah-Bonsu, Founder and Chairman of Primetime Limited, the idea of putting together a quiz programme started as an ordinary conversation between his late friend, Prof. Ebenezer Awotwe of the Animal Science Department of the University of Ghana and himself while playing tennis in the early part of 1993.