Saviour Onazi of Trophies International School, Minna, Niger State and Nwannadi Precious Chizaram of NUT Endwell Model Science School, Minna, Niger State, have emerged as winners of the 7th regional edition of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, endorsed spelling and thrill competition.
The competition was held at Government Junior Secondary School, Jabi, Abuja, with several student competitors from about 10 schools across North Central and North East including FCT.
The President, of Educand Education Initiative and initiator, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, Spelling & Thrill Competition, Ayotunde Ikulamberu, in an interview with journalists explained that the competition is meant to promote and inculcate spelling culture into the educational system of Nigeria.
Ayotunde lamented that the education system in Nigeria has nosedived tremendously.
” Educational prowess, diligence in terms of educational pursuits, and also reward for students outside of the classroom environment has improved, hence the initiative offers the platform to re-engineer and refocus in bringing students; both primary and secondary school to be able to showcase the level of their hard work and diligence outside of the classroom environment.
“Our platform is to re-engineer, refocus and bring up students of primary and secondary level to showcase their level of hard work and diligence outside of the classroom environment. We understand that the school has its curriculum and whether we like it or not, the extracurricular activities such as this competition will help to push in and to bring to the fore, most of the things that are being done in the classroom.”
” The spelling and thrill competition has been existing for 10 years and this is the 7th edition, we have had partners, over the years and we had the UNESCO endorsement in 2017. The endorsement is based on the media, and information which was in the curriculum, which is supposed to educate children, educate the populist, the students, parents and teachers, on the evil inherent in fake news, hate speech, terrorism and all of those, and also to make educators, teachers alive to their duties in that regards.”
” We have scholarship funds, for the winners at the regional level, for the secondary category, the winners from this secondary category will go home with 150,000 ( one hundred and fifty thousand naira) a lot of other compensation prizes, and apart from that the primary category will go home with a 100,000( one hundred thousand naira) at the regional level and all other compensation prizes.
At the national level, we have 500,000( five hundred thousand naira) scholarship fund for the secondary winners and 1,000,000 ( one million naira) for the secondary winners and 750,000 (seven hundred and fifty thousand nairas) for the primary category.” Ayotunde revealed.
Ambrose Madu, one of the teachers present at the competition with his students said: “The competition is an interesting one and the way I look at it, the development of student’s knowledge is guaranteed. Many schools need to come and learn from it. Although it is not easy, it’s something manageable for every school, as I am looking at it now because it will catapult them internationally”.
“Spelling is on the decline, due to the use of computers. This is a good avenue to bring back the culture of spelling’.
He advised that the competition be made a continuous practice in the educational system.
One of the competitors in the secondary category Madu Cynthia Uju lamented that the competition has not been easy on her part since she misspelt most of the words which according to her was a result of flooding in Kogi state that kept her away from school for a long time.
Madu pleaded with the initiative and Government to look into the problem of flooding in her state as it has adverse effects on the education system of the state.
She said ” we have not been practising the spelling compilation due to everything that has happened during the flooding, and the closing of the school, that is why I was not able to practice my spelling. I appreciate the organisers for granting me the opportunity to be here”.
The competitors were tested in their ability to correctly spell and pronounce certain English words in the British style, leading to a cash prize of about 150, 000 Naira and several other scholarship opportunities for the secondary category.
Winners in the primary category went home with the sum of 100, 000 naira, among other opportunities.