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The NSMQ; A leveller of Schools

About a decade ago, it was pretty easy to predict which schools would win which contests. Over the years, however, the narrative has changed; indeed, in the world of NSMQ, there is neither a “big” school nor a “small” school. Let us take you down memory lane.

In 2018, Tamale SHS was balloted to come up against Achimota School and Apam SHS; two formidable schools in the books of the NSMQ. On the eve of the contest, a poll was conducted on Twitter, and a little over 70 per cent of the voters, predicted a win for Achimota School. Why not? Achimota School is a two-time Champion of the NSMQ, and a majority of NSMQ fans believed Achimota School would carry the day. On the contrary, the contest that ended in a tie-breaker saw Tamale SHS as the best among the trio.


Who would have thought that there would come a time when Mfantsipim School, also two-time Champions of the NSMQ, would struggle to get seeded! Not us. For a couple of years, they have suffered some heavy defeats; the bigger downfall being in 2020, where they were trounced by Kumasi Academy by a 20-point margin at the One-eighth Stage. This year, Mfantsipim School is coming up against Ghana National College, who have given us some wonderful contests and caused some major upsets since 2016. Is Ghana National College poised to maintain their seed, or would this be Mfantsipim’s road to redemption?

The only day-school to have ever been crowned NSMQ Champions, St. Thomas Aquinas SHS, is coming up against St. Augustine’s College, two-time Champions. This is probably the most difficult fixture to predict, but before you pick either of the two schools, let us remind you that in 2018, Nifa SHS whipped Achimota School and Holy Child School at the One-eighth Stage. Do you think Anlo SHS could pull a “Nifa” on these two NSMQ heavy hitters?

Assin State College won the hearts of many two years ago when they won their contest against Aggrey Memorial SHS during the Central Regional Qualifiers. Even more awe-inspiring was the fact that the team from Assin State College was represented by second-year students only. The same set of contestants returned in 2019 even stronger, to beat Mfantsiman Girls’ SHS and Ghana National College at the Regional Qualifiers and the Preliminary Stage respectively. This year, Assin State College is coming up against Apam SHS at the One-eighth Stage, after beating University Practice SHS at the Preliminary Stage. And yes, the team comprises some second-year students.

The balloting exercise for the One-eighth Stage was conducted on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at the headquarters of the Ghana Education Service, and these are just a few of the fixtures you can certainly not miss from November 15 – 18, 2021, as 81 schools cross swords, to progress to the Quarter-final stage. Which school do you think could cause the biggest upset at the One-eighth Stage?

The National Science & Maths Quiz is sponsored by the Ghana Education Service, in partnership with Absa Bank, and supported by Joy News, GOIL, Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, AirtelTigo, Dano Milk, Joy Industries, Kiki Juice Drink, Accra College of Medicine, Academic City University College, Adansi Travels, Kenya Airways, Cupa Study International, Zipline, GTP, and YFM.

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