Malawi National Spelling Bee continues to make strides in its competition, which has seen several schools participating this year.
Having concluded contests in Mulanje, Phalombe, Neno, Machinga, Ntcheu, Dedza, Mchinji, Lilongwe and Dowa districts, the competition goes to Grand Palace in Mzuzu in the Northern Region on Sunday when 250 spellers from 25 schools are set to compete.
The competition has turned out to be vital in promoting reading and writing culture in the country.
Malawi National Spelling Bee founder Lewis Mbaula said Wednesday they were overwhelmed with the participation of schools as well as the performances of the spellers.
“Again, we are thankful to companies and organisations that have come forward to support the competition. For instance, Grand Palace Hotel has partnered us to host the contest in Mzuzu as part of its corporate social responsibility,” Mbaula said.
He said, last year, some of the schools that made it from rural areas in the World Vision programmes fared badly but that there was some improvement.
“Through this competition, we want students to be good at vocabulary, we want to encourage proper pronunciation of words, build confidence and culture of reading and writing in children,” Mbaula said.
He said the words being spelled this year are the same regardless of whether the student was from a rural or urban school.
“Last year, the performance of students from rural schools was poor and students from urban schools dominated but, this year, there is a great improvement,” Mbaula said.
Ahead of the contest in Mzuzu on Sunday, on Tuesday Dowa hosted its second spelling bee at Chisepo Primary School.
“Out of all spellers that participated, only 11-year old standard seven learner Patricia Chimutu from Chisepo spelled the word psychiatric correctly,” he said.
National Spelling Bee is an educational fun activity in which learners compete in spelling out words in the English language.
According to Mbaula, this is an international programme being conducted in United States of America, Europe and 27 countries in Africa including Malawi.
Mbaula said Malawi is the first Southern African country and the second after Ghana in Africa to be approved by government through education ministries to run the spelling bee programme.