Celebrating the Ghana 'Brilliant' National Science & Maths Quiz (Brilla)

When I was entering Presby Boys' Senior Secondary (Now High) School - Legon more than a decade ago for my senior secondary school education, one of my main goals was to be a contestant for the Presec at the Brilliant National Science and Maths quiz. I didn't meet this goal, I took an exam with a number of students and didn't make a cut of 12. I wasn't too bummed out. Back then, I thought to myself, writing an exam is not the way to choose quiz contestants. We should battle it out via quizzes. Either way, Presec competed for the National Science and Mathz quiz that year in 2001 and while we didn't win, we acquitted ourselves admirably. Charles Odonkor +kc odonkor, Michael Nkansah and Prince Tetteh competed for Presec. No big deal. My alma mater has won the famous Brilla trophy 5 times, 2 more than the next best placed school. 1995, 2203, 2006, 2008, 2009. Bragging rights yes. In fact, we've been amongst the semi-finalists several years. Strong confirmation of Presec being amongst, if not the best high school in Ghana.

My second favorite boys school in Ghana is Opoku Ware School where my younger brother +Kofi Ulzen-Appiah went. He made it into the OWASS squad in 2005 but he didn't contest. He went a steap further than me. Always proud of him for that. Glad to see my brother do better. My sister Tracey Mensah contested a year earlier for St. Louis but they didn't win. She was really smart. Aside competing for Louis in the Brilla, she was very much into entertainment as well. Brilliance runs in the family.

This year, Presec fell short again at the semi-final stage. We lost out to one inspired Appiah-Kubi who shone on the day for Adisadel - Thursday, July 2nd, 2015. I was there at the R.S. Amegashie auditorium to watch Presec compete. Because I always sit in the front, I sat next to some Adisco teachers and students. The Presec students were sitting in the back somewhere, they arrived a bit late. Appiah-Kubi was really good, one of the brightest contestants this year. I took a picture of him and his colleague, Bennett Brown from Adisco. The Presec contestants were too distraught to chat with me after the loss. Hard. Adisco fell short in the final, losing to Prempeh College, who won Brilla for the third time.

A friend, +Nathan Kwadade shared a link with me after this year's competition had ended. It highlighted 15 top National Science and Maths Quiz contestants. It also wrote about what they've been up to since competing. A number of my friends were included. +Ayorkor Korsah of +Ashesi University competed for Wesley Girls in 1995. A year later, Edem Dzakpasu who also went to my JSS (KNUST JSS) contested for Presec. +Akwasi Asabere (Shakespeare as we called him) repped Presec in 1999. +Timothy Kotin, alongside +Roland Ribeiro was part of Presec's winning squad in 2006 and has supported subsequent squads. This includes the victorious squad which had Daniel Yeboah-Kordieh. My friend Vincent Ampadu who was a year behind me at KNUST JSS contested for OWASS with +Paul Azunre in 2002 and they won. Find out about the others in the Urban Gaana web article.

I haven't quite come across some of the others in the article. I'm not sure how these 15 were chosen. Most lists always leave out a couple of deserving honorees. I posted this article on Facebook and it generated a whole lot of chatter. That's what actually drove me to write this blog post. I do justice to all those comments in this blog post. The National Science and Maths Quiz  is here to stay. It continues to unearth many talents, encourages healthy competition amongst schools in driving us to be better. And it is very educative! Some really hard questions are asked during these contests. These contests are for the dondadas! At least, when they are preparing and participating. :-)


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