Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos
THE top eighty-one (81) students have emerged from the over 12,000 students vying for a spot in the finals of the fourth edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition. These students were shortlisted following the nationwide computer-based tests (CBT) that served as a basis for preogression into the competition.
InterswitchSPAK, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch, in its fourth year, continues to drive and reward interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The CBT exams were taken in two stages: the first was taken from June 2, 2022, to June 5, 2022, and the second stage on June 8, 2022, trimming the number of registered participants from 12,014 to 500 and finally to 81. These 81 students who scaled the screening process are representatives of 13 schools.
Some of the schools whose students scaled through both the first and second rounds include Adedokun International School, Ota; The Ambassador College, Ota; Marist Brothers’ Juniorate, Uturu, Abia; Faith Academy Canaan Land, Ota; Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja; and Mount Olive College, Anambra.
Others include Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi, Ondo State; Bofoat Model College, Ondo State; FUTA Staff Secondary School Akure, Ondo; Seolad International College, Ogun; Great Cornerstone International Science College, Ondo State; Apt Scholars Universal College, Ogun State; and Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan.
Speaking on the importance of InterswitchSPAK and the need to encourage and reward more students in Africa to take up STEM subjects, the Group Chief Marketing and Corporate Communications Officer, Interswitch, Cherry Eromosele, noted that Africans should play a more central role in mapping out the future of Africa.
Eromosele added that the continent was ripe for development at the same scale as observed in the developed world, adding that this development had been proven to be spurred by the knowledge and application of STEM.
She said, “InterswitchSPAK remains an integral expression of the belief we hold at Interswitch, which is that Africa’s story can be changed from the inside out. And what this means is that only through the active participation of Africans can the change we seek come about.
“For this reason, we leverage the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition, now in its fourth run, to encourage young Africans to find value in STEM subjects that have been identified as drivers of economic prosperity, something that we at Interswitch have seen firsthand.”
Since inception, InterswitchSPAK has continued to champion the study of STEM subjects among students in Africa, as the competition has moved beyond a locally-organized initiative and has expanded to other parts of Africa such as Kenya in East Africa.
The InterswitchSPAK competition bestows on students rewards for their interest in STEM, with the first-place winner going home with N7.5 million in scholarships over a five-year period, a laptop, and monthly stipends. The second-place winner will go home with N4 million in scholarships, a laptop, and monthly stipends for a period of 3 years. The third-place winner will go home with N1 million in scholarship for a year, monthly stipends, and a laptop.
Last year’s winners were Jubril Dokun of Brainfield College, Salolo, Lagos State, receiving the first prize; the second-place winner was Ayanlade Jesuferanmi of Obafemi Awolowo University International School, Ile-Ife, and Omoniyi Qudus of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State, came in third place.