Interswitch Group has announced the commencement of the fifth edition of its annual InterswitchSPAK national science competition, a STEM-focused initiative targeted at students to build a knowledge-based society and promote sustainable development in Africa.
The competition, which is open to all private and public senior secondary school students between the ages of 14 and 17 years in Nigeria, aims to nurture students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The organisation provides a platform for students to showcase their academic prowess in STEM subjects and compete for various exciting prizes, including university scholarships.
The founder and Group Managing Director of Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, stated that during the competition, contestants would be taken through various qualifying rounds, including online assessments and a national qualifying examination leading to the semi-finals stage.
This, she explained, will be followed by a grand finale where the finalists will compete for the ultimate prize of N7.5 million in scholarships for five years, a laptop and monthly stipends.
The second-place winner will receive N4 million in scholarships for three years, a laptop and monthly stipends, while the third-place winner will, in turn, get N1 million in scholarships for one year, monthly stipends and a laptop.
“There will also be mentoring opportunities with senior Interswitch employees, as well as other exciting prizes. This year’s special edition will offer a prize pool of over N14 million, an increase from the usual N12.5 million, as the competition aims to reward more winners than ever before,” Elegbe explained.
The Interswitch CEO noted that the increase in prize money “will see over 100 students and teachers rewarded instead of just the top three winners.”
Elegbe stated that the organisation would also purchase JAMB e-PINS for 54 contestants to enable them to register for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations( UTME) for free, adding that the initiatives are a testament to InterswitchSPAK’s commitment to nurturing young talents in STEM and providing them with opportunities to excel in their chosen fields.
Speaking during the competition’s launch, the Executive Vice-President (Group Marketing and Corporate Communications) of Interswitch, Cherry Eromosele, expressed excitement about this year’s edition because of its visible impact.
“This highlights our focus on inspiring and empowering innovative young minds to drive progress in STEM and shape the future of Africa and the world at large,” said Eromosele.
The founder and Group Managing Director of JustMedia, the technical partner of the InterswitchSPAK initiative, Oladapo Ojo, noted that “our team has been fully committed to providing technical support to ensure the success of the competition and we are excited and looking forward to the fifth edition of this laudable project.”