Cape Coast-based Wesley Girls Senior High School strongly affirmed the arguable position that what men can do women can do better when they bundled two powerhouses, Prempeh College and Achimota School, out from this year’s National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) competition.
The unisex school, fondly called “Wey Gey Hey,” recovered from a first-round nightmare that saw them trail their male contestants by four points to emerge winners with 57 points.
Four-time winners of the coveted NSMQ trophy, Prempeh College, managed a paltry 27 points, while two-term champions, Achimota School, placed second with eight points adrift the winners in the quarter-final berth.
By this sweet victory, the Wey Gey Heys remain the only female side that has made it to the semi-finals of the 26-year-old competition.
Apart from the first round that saw the girls trail their male counterparts, the Wey Gey Heys displayed a consistent performance and kept their tails up to finish the competition with flying colours.
The R. S. Amegashie Auditorium of the University of Ghana Business School, Legon, in Accra, where the contest was held, was electrified with supporters from the various schools chanting and cheering their teams to victory.
Intermittent shouts and cheers accompanied every question that was correctly answered, while wrongly answered questions were met with disappointing faces from contestants and supporters.
It was a neck-to-neck race between the all-female school and Achimota School with the former surrendering their two-point lead when they failed to answer one of the “True or False” questions.
It was a nervy moment as both sides sat on tenterhooks, not knowing in whose favour the pendulum would swing.
However, it was the females who had the better spoils in the final round by answering three riddles to bag nine points that eventually sent them eight points ahead of their Achimota closest contenders.
The day had been long over for Prempeh College when they got stuck to the 26 points they had accumulated from the first three rounds and added only a point at the crossing line, the last round.
Even before the titanic clash, the stakes were so high, especially when Wesley Girls were seeking to break the jinx of no female school winning the competition in its more than two decades history.
They came in as the underdogs, particularly when Prempeh College had won the NSMQ four times – 1994, 1996, 2015 and 2017 with Achimota School also winning it twice — 1998 and 2004.
Of the three schools, Wesley Girls High School is the only school that has never won the contest since it began in 1994.
Despite chasing their very first NSMQ, Wesley Girls is a strong force to reckon with in the country’s second cycle education after some dominant performances in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Tepa SHS massacre
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Accra Academy and St John’s Grammar were also dragged to the slaughterhouse by less fancied Tepa SHS.
They emerged victors at the end of the contest with 50 points as against St John’s Grammar and Accra Academy who managed 39 points 29 points, respectively.
In the first round, Tepa SHS defied all odds to stun favourites Accra Academy and St John’s Grammar by bagging 23 points; leaving Accra Academy and St John’s Grammar trailing with 17 points and 13 points, respectively.
Tepa SHS continued their dominance to the second round where they amassed 25 points, with St John’s Grammar scoring 20 points, and Accra Academy trailing with 18 points.
The problem of the day in the third round was a real problem for all the three schools as they struggled to score three points each out of the 10 points on offer.
Tepa SHS maintained their composure by winning the fourth and fifth rounds with ease.