Mawn Van Boven explains why Keta SHTS finalists deserve commendation

Keta Senior High Technical School 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz finalists
Keta Senior High Technical School 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz finalists

At the just ended National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) contests where three Schools battle for the bragging rights saw Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (Presec Legon), Keta Senior High Technical School (KETASCO) and Prempeh College.

On Friday 26th November, 2021 where the intellectual competition took place in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prempeh College carried the day by beating Presec Legon and KETASCO with 53 points.

This notwithstanding, KETASCO has become the talk of town than the winning school Prempeh College. The reason is very simple, KETASCO happens to be the only school in the Volta Region of Ghana to be in the finals of the NSMQ for the first time and also Francisca Lamini been the only female contestant to make it to the finals in the past 8 years of the programme.


Prempeh College NSMQ champion scores 8As in WASSCE whilst in SHS 2

Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, MP for Ketu South in Volta Region could not hide her joy. She added her congratulatory message to the team from KETA SHTS for making Volta Region and Ghana proud by showing such a great control of intellect.

Reacting to the trends of this young students, Eugenia aka Mawn Van Boven writes the following reasons why the Keta Senior High Technical School contestants deserve commendation.

A few things I want to say about my winners of the NSMQ 2021.

1. Winning is not everything – I have seen on other posts how people are wondering why there’s so much fuss about the Ketasco trio when they didn’t win. The binary nature of our mindset is our bane: if you understand the challenges that these students had to grapple with to make it as part of the top 3 winners of the  competition, you should all be joining the chorus of congratulations being showered on them.

Winning is not (always) everything; it is what you do with the experience that counts. And team Ketasco, during their experience, shone ever so brightly and deserve every single letter of admiration being sent their way. If you don’t understand it, use your wall & influence to argue your case. Ketasco is the David (pitted against the Goliaths) in this competition.

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2. Language – from our national football teams to our political aspirants and our exam candidates, whenever we are’ readying for battle’ we always speak of victory and psyche ourselves for only that. And when we do not win, then all hell breaks loose. We start name calling, finger pointing and blaming everyone else for the ‘unfortunate loss’ .

“There’s no way we can lose”, “We came to win”, We didn’t come to just participate”, “We are the better team to win”, “Winning is in our history”….. None of such declarations psyche you up for when you do not make it… And so we see our young secondary school students in this competition spewing the same thoughtless, tact less and uninspiring rhetoric. Know that the same way you believe you have prepared, so will your competitors. Therefore, learn to tamper your declarations with wise counsel and measured thoughts… It truly is ok to say,(AND MEAN IT) “May the best team win”

3. A win for girls – Francisca’s performance at the NSMQ finals was stellar, I read. (Couldn’t watch it for many reasons I need another post to address). She is the first girl in 8 years to make it to the finals and people do not understand why she is being celebrated?! Eiii, Ghanaians… there truly is no pleasing us.

Prof. Naana Jane donates GH¢10,000 to the outstanding Keta SHTS NSMQ team

The bigger concern I heard is that the boys are being overlooked because it was a team sport and so the team must be congratulated. I believe the Ketasco trio have been celebrated as a team leading to and throughout the competition. Francisca is sticking out because she is a phenomenon of sorts…I read that she wrote her WASSCEs last Nov/Dec and aced 8 straight As and is very likely to repeat this score in this year’s impending results. You still think she doesn’t deserve to be celebrated? Again, your wall and your vocabulary are at your disposal.

4. Final year students – I found out that all NSMQ competitors are Form 3 students (who would have finished their WASSCEs before competing) who are selected and trained from Form 1. So the brilliance (or not) that we may see during the competition may not necessarily be repeated in the following year, because the students who had the most experience have left. So we start from scratch. In my experience, present the students when they’re in Form 2 so they would have gained a year’s experience by the time  they’re in Form 3 and give off a great and consistent performance in their 2nd attempt.

Well done to Prempeh College for ‘hosting and winning’,  and Presec for giving Ketasco and Prempeh a good competition.

Thank you NSMQ for giving us such an engaging event.



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