By Dipo Olowookere
Secondary school students willing to partake in the 2021 edition of the prestigious InterswitchSPAK 3.0 national science competition now have till Saturday, June 5 to register.
Business Post reports that registration for the contest was earlier scheduled to close on Thursday, May 27, 2021, but the organisers, Interswitch Group, in a statement announced the extension to this Saturday.
With the latest development, Interswitch said it would now close the registration portal, https://www.interswitchspak.com/ on June 5.
Parents, guardians and secondary school administrators have been advised to utilise the extended registration window to get their best science students in Grade 11 or Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) for the competition to register on the InterswitchSPAK portal.
Each school can register a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 students. However, for mixed schools, at least two female students must be among the selected students.
Every registered student will participate in the qualifying examination online, from their schools, homes or any convenient space. The top 81 students will proceed to the finale to battle for the crown of Nigeria’s Best Science Student.
The organisers said due to COVID-19 restrictions, the qualifying examination for this edition will be conducted online and there are options to pick from between Sunday, June 6 till Tuesday, June 8, 2021, any time between 8am to 6pm.
Demo materials are also available on the examination portal link which will be shared with qualified candidates only.
The coveted prize is N12.5 million worth of university scholarship for the top three winners. The first prize winner gets a N7.5 million tertiary scholarship spread over 5 years, a laptop and monthly stipends. The second prize is N4 million spread over 3 years and a laptop and the third prize is N1 million for 1 year.
The Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Interswitch, Ms Cherry Eromosele, stated that the competition is returning after the one-year hiatus and it was only logical to extend the registration period to give another opportunity to students and schools who would love to participate in the competition, however, couldn’t meet up with the initial timeline.
Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic, she encouraged more girls to participate in this third edition of the ongoing registration.
“This year, we are quite excited about this edition. Following the long hiatus caused by COVID-19, we trust that there will be increased participation in this competition.
“There has been an increase in the number of girls participating in the competition. Our commitment at Interswitch is to continually inculcate knowledge, aptitude and confidence, with a focus on improving the standard of education in Nigeria,” Ms Eromosele stated.
InterswitchSPAK is an annual pan-African competition aimed at re-igniting and incentivizing the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects among secondary school students.
The last edition was won by Oyindamola Aje, a 16-year-old student of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The duo of 15-year-old Oluwatobi Ojo and Onyekachi Madumere (both of Apt Scholar Universal College, Ogun State) came second and third, respectively.