National Spelling Bee Malawi organisers have taken advantage of the contest to sensitise learners to issues about Covid.
Founder Lewis Mbaula said Monday they thought it wise to play a role in using the competition to reach out to learners about the pandemic.
“We thought we have a role to play since we are interacting with learners in schools. Apart from giving them information through speeches, we are also using the competition by asking them about issues to do with Covid. On top of that, we are making sure that learners sanitise,” Mbaula said.
He said they were happy to have hosted the contest for the first time in Mzimba, where top spellers from 16 primary schools in the World Vision Programme Area of Khuyu battled it out.
“The learners came to spell with knowledge of what Covid is all about but with little knowledge of how best to prevent it,” Mbaula said.
He said the contest is also being used to create awareness in learners on proper way of wearing masks, their disposal and handling, the proper way of hand washing and how they can support each other on the same in the absence of their teachers or adults at home or elsewhere.
Mbaula said in an effort to reach out to more learners, while balancing the superior right to life and the important right of access to education, organisers divided contestants into two groups of eight schools each.
“The first group battled it out at Euthini and the other group the following day at Endindeni Secondary School. The two venues produced the best 10 spellers that have qualified for the next stage,” Mbaula said.
He said that through the contest they have kept learners busy despite school closures due to the pandemic.
“We, as organisers, in partnership with World Vision, made sure to make the learners busy across the country with books, magazines, newspapers and different materials,” Mbaula said.