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COVID-19: Interswitch put off 2020 National Science Competition indefinitely

...Halts ongoing registration of students ...Urges organisers to start preparing for 2021 edition

The Integrated Digital Payments and Commerce Company, Interswitch, has announced the cancellation of 2020 edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition till further notice.

The cancellation was made known in a statement by the Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Cherry Eromosele, who stated that the cancellation was to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the competition, which features a national qualifying examination, Masterclass, quiz and innovations competition.

According to her, “We have no doubt that the appropriate course to take as a socially responsible organisation, is to defer this year’s edition of interswitchSPAK until the dangers to public health posed by the pandemic are sufficiently mitigated.

Read also: Schools in South Africa to close again over Covid spike

“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.

Eromosele said the organisers realised that a virtual version would be impracticable presently and chose to put off till when physical contact of the participants would be possible.

“Based on due considerations for the health, safety and general well-being of thousands of young students and other categories of stakeholders involved in the national qualifying examinations, Masterclasses and national science competitions across Nigeria and Kenya annually, Interswitch Group has taken the difficult, howbest, necessary and pragmatic decision to move the activities planned for 2020 edition of interswitchSPAK national science competition.”

According to the statement, 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 the resolution that the most optimal course of action would be to defer the season.”

Eromosele added that the organisation had commenced constructive engagement with various stakeholders and partners who work annually on this initiative and will continue to work with them in unison as they plan towards the subsequent season of the project.

The interswitchSPAK National Science competition is a High School Science television contest show, that started in Nigeria in 2017 as SPAK, an acronym for Speedy, Perseverance, Accuracy and Knowledge.

It’s an annual Public/Private secondary school students’search in Nigeria and Kenya, reserved for second grade (Grade11)for students within the ages of 14 and 17.

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