Based on due considerations for the health, safety and general well-being of thousands of young students and the other categories of stakeholders involved in the national qualifying examinations, Masterclasses and national science competitions across Nigeria and Kenya annually, Interswitch Group have taken the difficult, howbeit, necessary and pragmatic decision to move the activities planned for the 2020 / 2021 edition of InterswitchSPAK National Science competition.
According to a statement from the company, the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak and its outlook which remains unclear, including travel and social gathering concerns among other considerations, make it extremely challenging to proceed with the implementation of the 2020 edition as earlier planned.
Having explored the options open to them including logistics of staging a fully virtual implementation of the competition, the organisers have come to the resolution that the most optimal course of action would be to defer the season.
Speaking about the deferment, the Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Interswitch, Cherry Eromosele, stated that the organisation has commenced constructive engagement with various stakeholders and partners who work with them annually on this initiative and will continue to work with them in unison as they plan towards the subsequent season of the project.
She said: “We have no doubt that the appropriate course to take as a socially responsible organization, is to defer this year’s edition of InterswitchSPAK until the dangers to public health posed by the pandemic are sufficiently mitigated. To this effect, we have formally ceased ongoing registration of candidates by schools across Nigeria and Kenya for the current year, following engagement with relevant concerned educational authorities and stakeholders in both countries”,
She however said that they will continue to use their digital assets to promote the ideals upon which the InterswitchSPAK initiative was instituted, thereby sustaining awareness and interest in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and also promoting virtual challenges targeted at keeping young science students in both countries engaged.
What you should know about InterswitchSPAK
InterswitchSPAK is an annual search across high schools (public and private) in Nigeria for only SS 2 (year 11) students between the ages of 14-17 years.
It was introduced to chart the ideal career path and drive the student towards full optimization of their potentials and fulfilment of their dreams (either as an inventor or entrepreneur) with a key message of revving up the interest of students; parents, teachers and other key stakeholders towards STEM education and its application in Africa.
Its core objectives are to arouse and sustain keen interest in the study of STEM in secondary schools across Africa, to raise the standard of STEM education and reward excellence with educational grants through an unbiased competition that would promote sound education in Africa and to ultimately create a vehicle that is genuinely contributes to growth, development and well-being of Africans in line with Interswitch’s mission to create solutions that enables individuals and communities to prosper across Africa.