Best English spellers crowned

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The overall winner, Abdulkarim Mugisha, answers questions during the competition. (Francis Byaruhanga)

The best English spellers at secondary school level were last weekend crowned with Riviera High School’s Abdulkarim Mugisha taking the top accolade.

The event, which took place at Riviera High School, brought together students from 15 schools based in Kigali.

Mugisha was followed by Aurore Izere and Mellon Mutesi both from the white Girls school. The best three spellers will represent Rwanda at the continental spelling competition scheduled for September in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Brian Kaweesi, the executive director, Brain Teasers Rwanda, the Organisers of the event, the spelling bee competition is aimed at raising opportunities for students by empowering them to express themselves and compete confidently in public.

“The initiative will also improve students’ reading culture and enable them learn new concepts,” he said.

Kaweesi also noted that the competition is meant to teach life skills such as team work, critical thinking and public speaking skills they need to help unlock their potential.

Patrice Dorrall, the headmistress of White Dove Secondary School who was a judge, said English language use in Rwanda is growing progressively.

“I can clearly see that in the near future English language use in Rwanda will have grown steadily,” she said.

Shakilla Umutoni, the public relations officer, Imagine We, a local NGO, urged teachers to adopt such initiatives to help learners improve their communication skills using English.

“Through spelling competitions, students are encouraged to read more books, which also boosts their writing skills,” she said.

Mugisha, the overall winner, said he had managed to get most of the words right because he revised extensively.

For Herbert Turinawe, a teacher at King David Academy, the spelling bee competition does not only help students grow their vocabulary but also their listening skills.

“It makes them more alert and able to listen better. But even when they fail, they come to accept the defeat and are compelled to work harder,” he added.