The National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) is a national level quiz competition for senior high schools in Ghana that is based on science and mathematics subjects. It has been produced since 1993 by Primetime Limited, an educational advertising and public relations firm.
The NSMQ is Ghana’s longest-running independent television show. The program is immensely popular not only with its primary target group, Senior High School students, but also with parents and, notably, previous students (old boys and girls), who take great satisfaction in their schools’ achievement on this program.
When the quiz began, it featured just 32 schools from around the country, which were separated into the Northern Sector and the Southern Sector, with 16 schools each. The winners from each area were then flown to Accra for the national championship. The inaugural tournament was won by Prempeh College.
The geographical sector system was abolished in 1997, and two northern sector schools (from the previous structure), Opoku Ware School and Prempeh College, advanced to the finals, where Opoku Ware School won its first trophy.
When the quiz show’s original sponsor, Brillant Soap, dropped out in 1998, the competition was renamed the National Science & Maths Quiz. Following that, the Ghana Education Service, through the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), took up sponsorship of the program in 2012. In terms of participation, the number of schools was expanded to 40 beginning in 2000. The number of participating schools was expanded to 81 in 2013, yet only 66 attended the tournament. As a result, the participation structure was modified to a three-team tournament rather than the two-team competition that had defined the competition from its start in 1993
The show has had three quiz mistresses. The first quiz mistress was the late Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Ghana, Legon. She was quiz-mistress from 1993 till 2000. The second was Eureka Emefa Adomako, a botanist at the University of Ghana, Legon, took over as quiz-mistress from 2001 to 2005. The current quiz mistress, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann took over in 2006 and has since been the quiz mistress of the beloved show.
NSMQ is important to the history of Science in Ghana because is it by far the most popular educational program on television. if a whole country enjoys watching a Science and Maths based show, it is a positive sign for Science education in the country.