Spelling Bee promoting literacy

Lilongwe, July 15, Mana: Government says the staging of Spelling Bee competition in the country has promoted children’s participation in literacy activities.

The competition aims at improving learners’ vocabulary by encouraging them to develop a reading culture and enhance their confidence by speaking in public as they develop correct fluency of words.

Deputy Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima made the remarks on Thursday during the Grand Finals of Spelling Bee competition at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

The Speller at work pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

“This is aligning with World Vision Malawi (WVM) education programme goal of improving age-appropriate literacy,” she said.

The contesting learners are coming from WVM’s Area Programmes from the rural North, Central and Southern region.

The learners were given chance to compete along with other learners from urban areas of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu after emerging successful in their respective schools. 

Wirima described the event as unique and special saying it is a sign that the country is taking very kin interest in the education of children.

“We are also encouraging them to fully participate in their education and motivating them to do better in their education,” she said.

Wirima said government with its development partners introduced and rolled out the 1 Reading Programme (NRP), which aims at improving teachers’ skills in teaching literacy through five key reading skills of letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension.

Deputy Minister (L) with winners Vione and Misheck pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

She said this was in line with what WVM does under its education programme which aims at improving age appropriate literacy through unlock literacy model which is a complement of the NRP.  

She, therefore, assured of government’s commitment to working with organizations, both local and inter1, that are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Malawi Growth and Development Strategies (MGDS III) that are aimed at promoting human development in the country.

She thanked Spelling Bee, WVM, Super Maheu and Zodiak Broadcasting Station for organising a wonderful spelling competition which was educative and informative.

Acting 1 Director for WVM, Charles Chimombo said his organization and other partners started the competition in 2019 and managed to send three contestants to Uganda for an inter1 competition.

He said the three contestants were later selected to various secondary schools in the country which he said is a big achievement.

Chimombo: competion started in 2019 pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

Chimombo said WVM was keen to improve literacy in the country and one way to do that was through such spell competitions which are directly impacting and benefiting on the lives of the children themselves. 

He said a study has shown that only 16 percent of standard three learners in their impact areas were able to demonstrate ability to do comprehension.

High Court Judge, Zione Ntaba said the competition has given learners an additional knowledge on new words and help them to improve their vocabulary.

She urged all the Spelling Bee contestants to continue working hard and striving to achieve excellence in spelling various English words.

Ntaba urged learners to work hard pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

A nine-year-old girl, Vione Kagaso, from Diversity Academy in Nchalo, Chikwakwa, emerged winner from urban schools while from rural schools, Misheck Mwangosi from Mupembe Primary School in Karonga, was the winner.

The first winners from urban and rural got K 75,000 cash, second winners received K50,000 and third winners pocketed K30,000 with assorted items including miniature trophies, school bags, water bottles donated by Super Mahewu and WVM.