Swedru Senior High School (Swesco) from Agona Swedru in the Central region has won the 2019 Ghana Science Olympiad (GSO) competition for underserved senior high schools.
Swesco beat off competition from Armed Forces SHS and Okomfo Anokye SHS, both from the Ashanti Region to emerge winners of the second edition of the competition.
Armed Forces SHS came second and Okomfo Anokye SHS was third.
Enoch Kwame Atuahene, a student from Adventist SHS in Ashanti Region, was also adjudged the overall best student of the competition, with Rexford Tutu of Okomfo Anokye SHS and Robert Owusu of Swesco coming second and third respectively in the individual awards.
Angela Amponsah of Armed Forces SHS, Ashanti region was also adjudged the best female student of the competition.
The three best-placed schools took away a torso and a trophy each, while the three best-placed students were awarded a plague and a tablet each.
The competition, which started in 2018, is a policy initiative of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) under the Schools Education Improvement Project (SEIP) and aims at promoting teaching and learning of Science, Technology, and Mathematics in schools.
It also seeks to equip students from underserved schools with critical thinking skills and exposed them to practical aspects of Science and Mathematics to improve upon their knowledge base for better performance.
The three-day competition consisted of critical thinking objectives, problem-based theory and practical questions from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
The theory and objective tests were done on an individual basis, whilst the practical was done in groups of two (school-based).
The best 60 students in the general contest were awarded 20 Gold medals, 20 Silver medals, and 20 Bronze medals.
Speaking at a ceremony to climax the event, Mrs. Patty Assan, the Director of Basic Education, GES, said the concept of the GSO competition was derived from the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), which since its inception in 2004 produced tremendous talents for over 40 countries worldwide.
She said the GSO would, therefore, help students to think and create wealth from the learning of science in their academic work and prepare them towards their future careers.
She commended the Minister of Education and the Director-General, GES for initiating such a laudable competition.
“The GSO is here to stay as it will be an annual event and we hope that the commitment shown by management will continue as we endeavor to expand the number of participating schools,” she said.
Professor Ibok Nsa Oduro, Lecturer, Food Science Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, called for a prioritisation of Science, Technology and Mathematics education in the country, saying they were catalysts for a nation’s development.
She urged students, especially science students to be inquisitive and ask questions to become problem solvers and facilitators of national development.
On her part, Dr. Yvonne S. A. Loh, Lecturer at the Department of Earth Science, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, urged the Ministry and GES to extend the initiative to basic schools in order to whip up students’ interest at an early age.
She advised the students to make education a priority as that would ensure they had a bright future and contributed their quota towards development.
In all, 454 students selected from 227 schools from across the country participated in the programme, held on the theme: “Science, Mathematics, and Technology for Accelerated Development.”