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Organisers deny cheating claims in one-eighth contest

Claims that Primetime Ltd deliberately sought to cheat Winneba SHS in a bid to ensure that Prempeh College, reigning champions of the competition, proceed to the quarter finals are absolutely false and erroneous, organisers of the contest have said.

Prempeh College, who won the 2016 robotics world championship also won the NSMQ competition for the third time in 2015
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Rumours were rife on social media that the one-eighth contest which took place on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, involving Winneba SHS, Prempeh College and Ashaiman SHS was froth with errors, particularly with the ‘The Problem of the Day’ section.

Many described the situation as an attempt to favour or deny another school a chance to proceed in the competition.

But in a statement, Primetime Limited said even though it admits that there was an error in the initial 'Problem of the Day', that error was immediately corrected, adding that the Agency “would work at ensuring that nothing like this recurs.”

Below is a statement from the Agency on the matter:

FACTS ABOUT PREMPEH-WINNEBA-ASHAIMAN SHS CONTEST

Primetime Ltd has noted various comments making the rounds on social media about the one-eighth contest which took place today, June 15, 2016, involving Winneba SHS, Prempeh College and Ashaiman SHS. Claims that Primetime Ltd deliberately sought to cheat Winneba SHS in a bid to ensure that Prempeh College, reigning champions of the competition, proceed to the quarter finals are absolutely false and erroneous.

Here are the FACTS:

1. At the end of Round 1, the scores were Prempeh College (17pts), Winneba SHS (17pts) and Ashaiman SHS (4pts).

2. At the end of Round 2, Prempeh College had 27pts, Winneba SHS, 26pts and Ashaiman SHS, 12pts.

3. Round 3 was the Problem of the Day. All three schools were given the SAME chemistry question to solve in 3 minutes. This question was read out by the quiz mistress and was the SAME question on the question papers handed out to ALL THREE SCHOOLS. At the end of the 3 minutes allotted time for solving it, the contestants submitted their solutions.

The solutions were graded by the quiz mistress and the scores out of 10 were as follows: Winneba SHS (07pts), Ashaiman SHS (03pts), Prempeh College (01pt).

It was at this point that the contestants from Prempeh College, seeing the solutions provided by Winneba SHS and Ashaiman SHS, drew the attention of the quiz mistress to the fact that the solutions provided could not have satisfied the question.

The Chemistry consultant was called and he also confirmed that there was an error with the question- an error that we admit. So, Winneba SHS and Ashaiman SHS had seemingly corrected the error and worked the problem out while Prempeh College simply worked with the wrong question, hence their wrong answer.

4. The proper action to be taken, in all fairness to all three schools, was to have them solve a different Problem of the Day, this time a problem in biology.

5. At the end of solving the new problem, Winneba SHS and Prempeh College each scored 3 out of 10 points while Ashaiman SHS scored 2 points.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the action taken by Primetime Ltd, in consultation with the Consultants of the programme, was to offer a level playing field to all competing schools. Primetime has no interest in favoring or denying another school a chance to proceed in the competition. Having produced the National Science & Maths Quiz since 1993, the producers would not soil years of proven track record in a bid to favor a particular school.

Primetime Ltd apologizes to fans for the error in the initial Problem of the Day and would work at ensuring that nothing like this recurs.

We wish to assure fans of the National Science & Maths Quiz that the competition will continue to be as fair as has always been and in the end, the best school will win the competition.

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