This year’s National Spelling Bee Championships for school children has a Sh18 million top prize. This year’s theme is ‘Read to Succeed.’
Speaking during the launch of the 2018 championships, Mr Johnston Nzioka, the Kenya National Spelling Bee patron, said next year’s spelling champion will win his or her school a 52-seater school bus. The first runner-up will win his or her school a 33-seater school bus while the third runner-up will win a 26-seater school bus for his school.
This year’s top prize is Sh500,000 that was won by Victor Ng’uono of M.M. Shah Primary School of Kisumu. The Class Seven pupil beat 180 contestants from across the country.
Victor Brian Maina of Nyeri Primary School finished second while Christine Njeri of Tender Care Junior Academy was third. Victor and Christine were awarded Sh300,000 and Sh200,000 respectively.
The three will represent the country in the African Spelling Bee championships in Addis Ababa in October, which will feature 27 countries,
“I am confident of a being victorious during the African Spelling Bee championships,” said Victor.
According to the organisers, the championship is open to all schools. The registration of schools for the 2018 National Spelling Bee Championships, which started on September 10, 2017 will end on January 31, 2018. The competition will start in February 2018 at the county level. The competition is open to Class Five to Class Eight pupils from all public and private primary schools.
During the county level competition, winners will be awarded with cash, laptops and story book donations for themselves and their schools.
The programme director, Mr Kennedy Odoyo, said schools will compete for the top three county positions. The winners will then face off at the national level.
More than 200 pupils attended the launch of the school registration. Mr Nzioka said the programme, which is now in its second year, has played an important role in improving the literacy development of young learners.
“We encourage more schools to sign up for next year’s competition as the prizes and opportunities are bigger.”
The Deputy Director of Quality Assurance and Standards at the ministry of Education, Mr Joseph Wambua said the programme enhanced the English language and vocabulary among primary and secondary school students.
“Both spoken and written languages are important for our young children’s development and the programme has helped on this growth through improvement of vocabulary, public speaking skills and self-confidence,” he said.
Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) chief executive Peter Ndoro and the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) national chairman Shem Ndolo also endorsed the initiative and urged all public and private primary schools countrywide to register.