Determined to give meaning to their Golden Jubilee celebration which is due in 2013, the boys from the Wa-based St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary, made minced meat of the usual league of Ghana’s elite schools during the just ended 2012 edition of the National Science and Maths quiz held at University of Ghana, Legon.
Represented by the awe inspiring trio of Richard Taabazuing, Lucio Dery and Stephen Boosuro. Felix Siayi was on stand-by. Xavier made the entire Northern Ghana proud as they demolished one school after another in their unstoppable desire to clinch this year’s Science and Maths trophy for the first time for Northern Ghana. Day after day, from the 11th to the 17th of June, they pitched their searing intellect against that of schools like Wesley Girls, Achimota, Opoku Ware, PRESEC; and in the end demonstrated to the whole world that, Xavier, the “little, big Catholic school” tucked away on a remote hill in Wa, in the Upper West region, is indeed a force to reckon with when it comes to scholarship.
The first contest was between St. Francis Xavier and Wesley Girls from Cape Coast, regarded as the best girls’ secondary school in the country. It was a sizzling battle of brains and at the end of the competition, it was Xavier that won with 58 points as against 56 for the girls from Cape Coast. Xavier thus dismissed Wesley Girls from the competition.
Xavier was again given a daunting task as they had to face two (2) time winners, Opoku Ware School. At the end of the contest, and with 60 solid points in their favour as against 39 by their opponents, St. Francis Xavier had gored down the OWASS Boys, as they like to be called, and sent them packing back to Kumasi.
And after dismantling Opoku Ware, the confidence level of the Xavier trio and their supporters was sky high as they were handed with their next seemingly unassailable opponent. It was no other than record holders of the competition and the best secondary school in the Greater Accra Region, which also has the best science centre and laboratory in Ghana – the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon. The PRESEC boys had won the competition a record five (5) times and came for this year’s competition having won the last two editions and wanted to win the trophy for KEEPs. The hall was full to capacity with hundreds of gloating PRESEC students who had come to inspire their boys to victory. Their dreams were however cut short in the quarter finals by Xavier who led them from round one to the final round with the final scores as 62 for Xavier and 48 for PRESEC. Most of the PRESEC students had to walk back to their campus with tails between their legs – “How could this tiny, unknown school from Wa do this to us?” seemed to be their song of sorrow!
The semi-final between Xavier and Achimota School was one of the best contests in the history of the competition as the quiz mistress herself put it at the end of the contest. The name XAVIER at this level of the competition was ringing in the ears of every student, whilst teachers from the other schools requested to know how their children could gain admissions into Xavier. One driver remarked, “I have been to that school before. It is some small school but the students are very intelligent”.
Achimota School which is the oldest government school and one of the best in the country came into this year’s competition having won it on two occasions. They knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park against Xavier, but they were determined and brimming with confidence. At the end of the contest though, it was Xavier again who sent them wailing back to the Achimota school campus after bagging 63 points with Achimota trailing at 57.
Sunday, 17th June, 2012 will never be forgotten by friends, old boys, parents, students and the three contestants of Xavier. It was the Grand Finale and history was about to be made. Xavier was now faced up with Ghana National Secondary Technical School (G.S.T.S) from Takoradi and both schools were hoping to win the trophy for the first time in their history.
Profiles of both schools were read out and the LUMEN SPLEANDEAT (Let your light shine) spirit of Xavier was high from round one of the contest till the end. Xavier was constantly ahead of G.S.T.S with two points until the final riddle was read out. The school from the Oil City of Takoradi answered it rightly and got three points which put the final scores at the end of the contest at, 52 in favour of G.S.T.S as against 51 for Xavier! One could read sadness and a deep sense of disappointment on the faces of the Xavier contestants and their supporters. It was a battle well fought. The boys were heroic in their performance throughout the quiz contest and need commendation.
St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary located in the Upper West Regional capital of Wa continues to shine not only in Ghana but in the outside world. Arguably, it is the best secondary school in the country. Founded in 1963 by the late Cardinal Peter Poreku Dery, then Catholic Bishop of Wa Diocese, it has produced a plethora of successful young Christian gentlemen for the church and mother Ghana.
Xavier has scored 100% on the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSSCE), now West African Secondary School Certificate (WASSCE) over the years. Due to their sterling performances, all products of the school have gained unconditional admissions into highly ranked universities in Ghana and abroad. Products of Xavier are like a rare commodity in many areas of national endeavour, and when you do meet them they exude quality, excellence and gentlemanly conduct.
The name Xavier is synonymous with success in academics, especially in the Upper West Region. The school won Ghana’s 49th Independence Presidential Debate in 2006. Again they won a national “What Do You Know” quiz competition and represented Ghana in South Africa in 2011, as well as the national quiz competition organised by the National Commission for Education (NCCE) in 2011.