Entertainment of Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Source: David Cudjoe
A 13 year-old girl, Afua Ansaa Manukure from the Ridge Church School, an international school located in Accra, has emerged winner of the 9th edition of the Spelling Bee national finals on Saturday 6th February 2016 and will be representing Ghana at the 89th Scripps National Spelling Bee in USA.
The Spelling Bee competition is a literacy programme for primary children between 8 to 13 years with the objective of teaching students the proper and effective use of the English Language.
Ghana has been the only African country which participated at the global level but the coordinators of the Spelling Bee have revealed plans to extend to Nigeria, Namibia and Kenya in subsequent years.
According Mrs. Eugenia Tachie-Menson, the Country Director of Young Education Foundation (YEF), the 10th edition of the competition will come with modification in organization and preparation to improve the performance of the students.
Mrs. Eugenia also mentioned that YEF has commenced with organization of the competition in Nigeria and is looking forward to see a race between Ghana and Nigeria in the upcoming edition of the Spelling Bee.
The Spelling Bee has been classified as a non-academic exercise which is not examinable but Mrs. Tachie-Menson states that spelling has been proven to develop the intellectual abilities of children as they learn through fun activities.
Hence there have been rejections from some heads of schools and parents usually bordering on the argument that the Spelling Bee is not an academic exercise. Some even opine that it is not on its own an examinable subject by WAEC.
She cited Ghana’s educational structure and the media as the major challenge facing the course of YEF adding that reporters always ignore using new words in writing articles which is mostly read by parents and students.
She therefore encouraged parents and schools to involve their children in the competition as its aim is to teach them how to think critically.
“The 10th edition will definitely be a special one and we are presently in Nigeria running the same completion so we are hoping for a Ghana/Nigeria spell off. Our major problem is the educational structure which doesn’t encourage student to think critically because the student has to do what is being thought by the teacher and also the media is not publishing new words for kids to learn”, said Mrs. Eugenia.
Vishal Thakwani of the Delhi Public School International (DPSI), a world class international school in Tema, who won the 8th edition of the competition was unfortunately knocked out in the final rounds of the race.
Vishal Thakwani who was ranked the 50th best speller globally out of over 11 million pupils worldwide said he is honored for the opportunity and really appreciate the support by Ghanaians during his race against world.
Speaking to the press, Mss Afua Ansaa Manukure, winner of 9th edition Spelling Bee national finals, expressed gratitude to God almighty for a dream come through adding that it was beyond her expectations.
Mss. Afua said this year’s contest was very challenging as other speller-brity gave her a tougher race but was able to stand out due to learning of more root words.
“I’m feeling extremely happy now and tremendously grateful to God for bringing me this far. I think what made it for me was my knowledge of root words which are the building blocks of words that comes together to form a word and that really help me”. Afua uttered.
She received a gold medal, Certificate, products from Indomie, Club Muscatella, and Voltic, and a cash prize of $500 from Indomie.
The first runner-up, Lord Awingor Mba, student of Mary’s Child School, also received silver medal, products from Indomie, Club Muscatella, and Voltic, a certificate and an Ecobank Junior Saver Account.
The second runner-up, Emil Abagery, student of University of Cape Coast Primary was presented with a bronze medal, products from Indomie, Club Muscatella, and Voltic, a certificate and an Ecobank Junior Saver Account.
Story by: David Cudjoe