The Business Senior High School (BISCO) in Tamale has been adjudged winners of this year’s Energy Commission Senior High Schools Renewable Energy Challenge in the northern region.

The school obtained the highest points of 77.3 to emerge winners in a very competitive challenge that witnessed all participating schools presenting their projects and extensively demonstrating its efficiency and proficiency to propel Ghana’s renewable energy drive.     

The other competing schools were Tamale Girls SHS, 67.3 points, Northern School of Business, 65.3 points, Tamale SHS, 63.7 points, Dabokpa Technical/Vocational Institute, 61.7 points, Ghana SHS with 59.0 points, Savelugu SHS, 57.3 points and Tamale Technical Institute with 56.3 points.

The Business SHS has won the challenge for the second consecutive time to represent the northern region competition after exiting at the zonal challenge last year in the Ashanti Region.

The lead Teacher for Business SHS, Mr. Cletus Baalongbuoro, in an interview said the school learnt its lessons from last years’ experience and has improved upon the criticisms and suggestions that came from the zonal contest.

“We did our best but the judges felt there were certain things for us to do and so we couldn’t continue to the finals in Accra; so we had to come back and all the criticisms, suggestions and all that they gave us, we took notice of them and we went back to the drawing board and improved upon the project” he explained.

He assured the team will continue to work hard in order to reach the grand finale and make the region proud.

Project

The Business SHS designed a local fabricated recycling machine for the production of charcoal briquettes using the biomass technology.

Mr. Cletus said, “We’re using agricultural waste to recycle into an alternative charcoal because we know that in the north here, charcoal is the most available source of cooking fuel; people cut down trees and we’ve seen the effects of it and we decided that we should stop the cutting down of trees for charcoal but then what do we do? We have to give alternatives to our people to use because many of them cannot afford electricity to cook or gas.”

He intimated charcoal briquettes are more effective than the traditional charcoal and it doesn’t also produce smoke, adding we also want to curtail the idea of people getting infected with respiratory related diseases through the use of firewood or the traditional charcoal which produces smoke.

According to Mr. Cletus Baalongbuoro, the charcoal briquette burns twice longer than the traditional charcoal making it more cost effective and economically viable.

Meanwhile, the Energy Commission organized the third edition of the annual Senior High Schools Renewable Energy Challenge on Monday (June 27, 2022) under the theme: “Clean Cooking and Food Processing Using Renewable Energy technologies”.

In his speech delivered by Ms Bernice Nortey, the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission explained the aim of the inter school challenge is to promote creative thinking and to provide mentorship to young students.

Ms Bernice Nortey

“The challenge will highlight various competitions by students in the second cycle institutions and provide a platform for the exhibition of their innovative projects. It is vital that we eliminate the “Chew, pour, pass and forget” phenomenon in the educational system of Ghana as well as the myth that research and project development are only directed at science students” he said.

He added the Renewable Energy Act, 2011, (Act 832) mandates the commission to promote the efficient use of electricity and renewable energy resources through public education, training and regulation of entrepreneurs in the sector.

He further emphasized it is also the mandate of the commission to facilitate the mainstreaming of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and programmes into the curriculum of educational and training institutions.  

The Northern Regional Director of Ghana Education Service, Dr Peter Attafuah, in a speech on his behalf urged the participating schools to present themselves well in order to go beyond the zonal competition where the region was eliminated last year.

“We all know northern region, we’re pacesetters and wherever we find ourselves, we excel and I want to urge you to take this competition very seriously to ensure whoever is representing the region would go back and prepare very well so that this time around, we don’t end at the inter zonal – we will go straight to the nationals and surely bring the trophy to the northern region” he said.

Dr Attafuah intimated the commitment and ability of the younger generation today to excel gives the country hope that tomorrow’s Ghana will be better one.

“…And so this opportunity that is given you, I want you to continuously ensure that you will learn and learn very well. Tricks are changing, nobody knew coronavirus will come, nobody there would be a Ukraine/Russian war and so you have seen that, off late, situations are in the country is going higher and higher” he indicated.

Dr Peter Attafuah stated the country cannot rely on the traditional way of doing things like the past and underscored the importance of the renewable energy challenge to propel the nation’s energy drive.

SOURCEthecustodianghonline.com/Mohammed Gadafi
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