CyberGhana, a non-profit organisation dedicated to cybersecurity empowerment, has launched its maiden edition of the National Cyber Champions Competition (NCCC) in Cape Coast.
The 2023 edition strives to inspire Senior High School (SHS) students to pursue careers in cybersecurity or related Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines for accelerated development.
Furthermore, it seeks to raise awareness on cybersecurity’s best practices for students to stay safe online, seek career opportunities, and develop cybersecurity culture among young children.
As part of the launch, a competition was held for the competing schools in zone one, comprising schools in the Central and Western Regions.
They are; Aggrey Memorial Zion school, Ghana National College, St. Augustine’s College and Boaponsem SHS in the Central Region with Archbishop Porter Girls’ school representing Western Region.
Zone two comprised schools in Ashanti and Northern including Bolgatanga Girls SHS, Yaa Asantewaa Girls SHS, OLA Girls SHS (Kenaase), St. Louis Girls SHS, St. Hubert Seminary, TI Ahmadiyya, Kumasi High School.
The Volta and Eastern Regions were grouped in zone three including; Bishop Hermans College, Kpando SHS, Kpando Technical Institute, Aburi Girls SHS, and Methodist Technical Institute.
Unlike other competitions where results were declared immediately, the NCCC would be declared when all Zones were done with their contest.
Eight schools that will make the highest score, will progress to the grand finale scheduled for April in Accra.
Explaining the rationale behind the contest, Mr. Bright Edujih Kuleke, the Programmes Coordinator for CyberGhana, said the programme sought to develop cyber talent among high school students with hands-on and project-based STEM and cyber program that motivate students to learn advanced concepts.
Distinct from other competitions, he said, the NCCC programme puts competing schools in the position of newly hired cybersecurity professionals performing cybersecurity operations in a small company.
But, in rounds of keen competitions, he said, the schools would be given a set of tools to represent a natural business environment and tasked with carrying out real consulting projects.
Before then, he said, schools that applied to be part of the competition, attended months of free boot camp training and qualified schools and the top teams would meet at the zonal and national levels to compete.
He said students and schools that exhibited unique skills would be enrolled in CyberGhana’s ongoing magnet-free programme that sought to introduce advanced security skills to students.
Addressing the public earlier, Mr. Atta Payne, the Central Regional STEM coordinator, urged the youth to make judicious use of internet as a critical tool for communication and education.
He said, however, that the internet space came with its security challenges and since children were susceptible to threats such as cyberbullying, exposure to indecent images and videos, cyberstalking and phishing, they needed to be protected.