The Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) is requesting for an unqualified apology from the mistress for the National Science and Math Quiz (NSMQ), Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, over a statement she recently made on Starr FM.
The mistress while acknowledging why the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School – Legon (PRESEC) keeps winning the contest also said that the reason other schools don’t win the contest is because they would be singing and dancing while the PRESEC school would be seriously learning and preparing for the quiz.
“While other schools are singing and dancing, PRESEC is having quiz programmes in their school,” she told Bola Ray on Starr FM.
In a statement signed by the President of ATWAG, George Quaye, he intimates that Professor Elsie’s comment was inappropriate and shows the disrespect accorded the arts which comprise singing and dancing.
“We believe it is important to recognise and appreciate the value of both science and the arts in our society. While science and math are undoubtedly crucial subjects, it is equally important to acknowledge the significant role that the arts and humanities play in shaping our world. They foster creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and cultural understanding,” he writes.
The President of ATWAG also adds that “in light of the rapid advancements in AI and technology, it becomes even more crucial to emphasize the importance of the Arts. These fields provide the emotional and imaginative aspects that AI cannot replicate. They contribute to the fabric of our society and enhance our overall well-being.”
ATWAG, therefore, requests that Professor Elsie reflects on the unintended consequences of her statement and acknowledge the insult it carries towards schools and individuals who prioritise the arts and humanities.
“It is essential to respect and appreciate the diverse talents and interests of students in all fields of study,” the statement indicates.
The group that represents writers in the tourism, arts and culture industries also seeks an apology from the Quiz Mistress.
“Moreover, we urge you to consider issuing a public apology to demonstrate your accountability and respect for all students, regardless of their academic pursuits. By doing so, you will help foster an inclusive and supportive environment that celebrates the contributions of both Science and the Arts.
We also call upon Primetime Limited, the producers of the show, to address this matter promptly and ensure that all participants and viewers feel valued and respected,” the group further requests.
The Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) is an association of Ghanaian arts writers/journalists and media workers.
ATWAG seeks to promote arts, tourism, and culture reporting in Ghana while developing the professional capacity and the welfare of its members.
ATWAG is also aimed at promoting cooperation and collaboration among its members and players in the arts, tourism, and culture value chain.
See the press statement below: