The inaugural interschool English spelling bee competition between Yuan Jue Private School and Five Rand Primary School was successfully held in Okahandja on 10 May.
A total of 80 participants (10 spellers from each grade in grades 4 to 7 at each school) competed. Four spellers were crowned as champions at the end of the competition. All four champions were spellers from Yuan Jue Private School.
The children in both schools were given word lists three months in advance. The number of words on the lists was 350, 550, 700, and 800 for grades 4 to 7, respectively. Spellers worked so hard to learn all the tricky words on these lists that, in order to determine the champions during the competition, the teachers had to create supplementary rounds using a new set of words that the children had not seen.
Hilia Ailapa (12), the winner for grade 7, recalled that the most challenging word on the list was “transubstantiation”. Trinity Lukas (12), the winner in grade 6, spelled difficult words such as “chrysanthemum” and “onomatopoeia” without hesitation.
One audience member from the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) observed that it was “a very well-organised event and the children performed marvelously”.
The event was hosted by Amitofo Care Centre (ACC), Yuan Jue’s supporting organisation. One of the town’s major commercial suppliers, Agra, Okahandja sponsored the event.
Although some of the schools in town hold their own annual spelling bee competitions within their own school, there has been no attempt to hold such a competition between schools. The initiatives from ACC and the hard work of the teachers and learners from both schools made the success of this inaugural interschool event possible.
Although only two schools competed this time, teachers and learners from five other primary schools in town attended the event to show their support and their interest in participating in the Okahandja Bee next year.
Laurentia Muzuma, the acting inspector of education in Okahandja, urges all primary schools in the Okahandja Circuit to join the spelling bee competition.
An organiser from ACC said: “We expect to see our children participate soon in the national competition and eventually in the African spelling bee competition as national champions representing Namibia”.
All primary schools in the Okahandja Circuit are welcome to join the spelling bee competition next year.
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