By Azania Post Reporter, Singida
Over 400 public primary and secondary school students from Singida region will benefit from learning how to pursue excellence in spelling in a fun and innovative way, following the launch of the 2018 Spelling BEE championship done today in Singida town.
The championship will take place on September 29 at the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy Singida Campus.
The championship seeks to stimulate excellence learning through a spelling competition in both English and Kiswahili language, and participants will be students from standard four to form four in over 32 schools in Singida and expects to have over 15 private and international schools participating.
Singida region has a total of 551 (530 government and 22 private) primary schools and 164 (142 government and 22 private) secondary schools including 4 schools with special units for children with hearing loss.
Nationally Itigi district council schools and Manyoni district council schools are the best performing districts of the region in primary class 7 and secondary form 4 examinations.
The ranking performance of Itigi District in Primary Class 7 examination for 2017 is position 56 out of 186 districts in the country and Manyoni ranking at Form 4 Examination is position 47 out of 186 districts.
In addition to this excellent performance of the districts, the performance of all secondary schools in the region improved overall, however the overall performance of primary schools in the region dropped and the regional commissioner Dr. Rehema Nchimbi has promised to work with all stakeholders and the community in improving education quality in the region.
To this end a new programme for improvement on the quality of education has been introduced in the region by EQUIPT since January 2018.
The 2018 Spelling BEE championship is the first ever bi-lingual, all-inclusive spelling competition to be held in East Africa that consists of an English Spelling BEE, Kiswahili Spelling BEE and the Special Needs Spelling BEE – a competition uniquely designed for students with hearing loss.
Speaking at the launch, the event manager of the championship, Ms Upendo Wanguvu said, “Today we begin a journey of stimulating excellence in learning through a spelling competition targeting primary and secondary schools in Tanzania.
We are confident that our championship will stimulate excellence in learning through the mastery of words, their meaning, their spelling and how to use them in sentences which is a key element of the learning process.
Our journey this year begins with Singida region and we expect it to become a national championship of all 31 regions within the next 3 years.
Moreover, today marks the official launch of the registration process and invite all private and internationals schools to visit www.spellingbee.co.tz to register for the competition”.
The Special Needs Spelling BEE is will also be a bi-lingual picture-word spelling competition through which children with hearing impairment will spell various words using sign language. The championship is expects to host over 100 students with hearing loss from around the country.
Speaking on the Special Needs BEE, Yasin Mawe Executive Director of the Tanzania Society for the Deaf said “This is the very first time in the history of Tanzania and East Africa that a learning competition has included children with hearing loss.
Inclusiveness in education is a key pillar for development and we are excited that the Spelling BEE championship has included a spelling competition for children with hearing loss and this will build a good base for integration between people of hearing and those with hearing loss”.
The championship is the collaborative effort of the Cece & Daniel Enterprise, the University of Dodoma (UDOM), Baraza la Kiswahili Tanzania (BAKITA), Tanzania Institute of Education, Africa for Inclusive Communities (AFIC) and The Tanzania Society for the Deaf, Office of the President TAMISEMI and is a pioneering public private partnership initiative in Tanzania.
“The mission of the PPP initiative is to stimulate a reading habit among students, stems from the belief that an excellence in learning can only be achieved when a student learns words, their meaning and use in sentences.
Words are found in books and encouraging children to learn new words and their spelling will result in creating a reading habit among students” said Upendo.
She called on to corporates, stakeholders and well-wishers of education in Tanzania to support this unique initiative of the Spelling BEE by partnering with the championship.
The Baraza la Kiswahili Tanzania (BAKITA) has pioneered in developing the very first Kiswahili Toolboxes that will be used to conduct the first ever Kiswahili Spelling BEE and the Special Needs Kiswahili BEE competition.
The Toolbox consists of all the fun and innovative ways to teach students, gallery of words for students to learn as well as words that will be used at the competition.
The 2018 Spelling BEE championship this year will have over 30 prize categories to be won by students and teachers of participating schools.
Among the prizes to be won include: Championship Spellers in the Kiswahili, English and Special Needs competition, Best Coach Awards, Youngest Speller Award, Best Public School Spellers, Best Girl Spellers and Top Speller in each participating in Primary and Secondary category.