NSMQ 2020 Grand-Finale: A Journey from Somewhere

The journey of the 2020 edition of the National Science & Maths Quiz started with over 400 schools competing at the regional level, out of which 108 qualified to the Preliminary Stage of the National Championship. From this number, 54 of them progressed to the One-eighth Stage to compete with the 27 seeded schools. One contest after another, some schools exited the competition, while others trod on. And slowly, but surely, we have come to the end of NSMQ 2020.

Eighteen years of a trophy drought, Opoku Ware School did not despair. They started their NSMQ 2020 journey from the One-eighth Stage, where they met Agogo State College and Zabzugu SHS. Even though they faced a little opposition from the Agogo State College team, it was clear from the onset that the lads from Opoku Ware were indeed hungry for a win. Opoku Ware School went on to win the Airteltigo Highest Scorer Award at the One-eighth Stage of the competition.

After winning their first contest, Opoku Ware School faced stiffer competition at the Quarterfinal Stage, where they competed with two of the best all-female Senior High Schools in Ghana – Holy Child School and Wesley Girls’ High School. Composed, and with a unique game plan, the boys sailed through the contest successfully.

Winning the semifinal contest wasn’t much of a struggle for Opoku Ware School, as their contenders – Accra Academy and Boa Amponsem SHS – could not match up to their performance. Even though Accra Academy came off as the best among the three in the first round, Opoku Ware School raced with lightning speed in the second round, to be in the lead by eight points at the end of the Speed Race. They further widened the gap by answering all their True/False statements correctly, and eventually won the contest with 55 points.

For the past five years, Adisadel College has been a familiar face at the Grand Finale of the NSMQ. They won their first trophy in 2016, and have since been trying to win their second championship title. Adisadel College started their 2020 journey from the One-eighth Stage, where they met Bishop Herman College and Tarkwa SHS. Neither of their contenders posed any challenge, and Adisadel College sailed through the contest without much hassle.

In their Quarterfinal contest against St. Peter’s SHS and OLA SHS, Ho, many tipped St. Peter’s SHS to win the contest, however, Adisadel College carried the day. At the end of the first round of the contest, St. Peter’s SHS was in the lead with 27 points, with Adisadel College following with 19 points. In the second round, however, things went south for St. Peter’s SHS. Adisadel College caught up with them in the third round, and overtook them in the fourth round by answering all their true/false statements correctly. The decider of the contest was the final round, where St. Peter’s SHS nearly picked all the riddles correctly to win the contest, but OLA SHS, Ho answered two of the riddles correctly to Adisadel College’s victory. At the Quarterfinal Stage, Adisadel College also won the AirtelTigo Highest Scorer Award.

Even though Adisadel College won their semifinal contest with a low score, the contest was one of the keenest of the 2020 edition of the NSMQ. Adisadel College and their contenders, Achimota School and Keta SHTS, went neck-and-neck till the very last riddle, where Adisadel College who were behind Achimota School by two points, answered the last riddle correctly to win the contest.

Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, five-time champions of the NSMQ, 2019 finalist, and the 2020 Greater Accra Regional Champions, started the agenda to win their sixth trophy from the One-eighth Stage, in a contest with Aggrey Memorial and Sunyani SHS. A majority of NSMQ fans tipped Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School to win this contest, and they did so effortlessly.

Unlike the One-eighth Stage, where Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School won the contest quite smoothly, their Quarterfinal contest was keenly contested. Their contenders – Ghana National College and Koforidua Secondary Technical School – put up a good fight which nearly sent the blue magicians home. However, the resilient Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School won the contest with 51 points, while their contenders followed with 42 points each.

Kumasi Academy had been a force to reckon with since they joined the race at the One-eighth Stage, sending Mfantsipim School, two-time champions of the NSMQ – home. Hence, many predicted Kumasi Academy to win their semifinal contest against Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, however, this contest was easy peasy for the Presbyterian Boys.

By way of prizes, Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School won the AirtelTigo Highest Scorer Award at the One-eighth Stage, Quarter-final Stage, as well as the Semifinal Stage. They also won the Prudential Life NSMQ Star prize at the semifinal Stage, as well as the GOIL Riddle Bonanza prize at the One-eighth Stage.

Today, Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Adisadel College and Opoku Ware School who have all been spectacular in their various contests will clash at the Grand Finale. Our three finalists last met at the semifinal stage in 2019, where the Blue magicians carried the day.

There is a lot at stake in this contest; this will be Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School’s nineth final appearance, the fifth appearance in six years for Adisadel College and the eighth for Opoku Ware School. Are we going to talk about six this year, is the 18-year drought going to end this year, or number two will be the mantra at the end of the day!