Pupils win big in Bayelsa spelling bee

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Pupils from primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa recently demonstrated their academic prowess in dictations. The pupils from private and public secondary schools were in fact in their best elements as they competed to spell difficult long and short words.

Ovuru Nadou from New Total Child Academy is the most favoured beneficiary of the competition. He won a scholarship from one of the major sponsors of the event, Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation (RSIF). The foundation placed him on a university scholarship.

Ese Marvellous from Samara Montesorri school came second. He won N50,000 donated by a House of Assembly member, Tonye Isenah. Also, Njoagwu Caleb from Community Boys Secondary School Agudama, who came third got N20,000. Others got prizes for best diction and best behaved.

On the primary school category, little eight-year-old Elroy Ebifie Okara of Myrtle International School Biogbolo won a laptop. Miss Oyinbrakemi Michael-Olomu from the school won N50,000 donated by Tonye Isenah while Umeononuju Ikechukwu, a pupil of New Total Child Nursery and Primary School won N20,000.

But Master Marlus Moses gave a good account of himself. The pupil, who came from the Community Primary Schoo, Opolo -Epie, however, took the fourth position. It was the first time a child from a public school came such far in the primary category of the competition.

The Convener, Ebidenyefa Tarila Nikade, was also full of smiles. She made the Spelling Bee Bayelsa, 2018 happen. She provided the spelling opportunity that attracted empowerment to the children. Nikade, a poet, writer and educationalist organised the spelling bee competition that brought students from various schools together. The event brought back healthy competitions among students.

Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation established in memory of the late father to the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, was part of the programme. The foundation provided significant financial backing to enable the students engage in the spelling challenge.

Nikade said when she started the competition, it was focused on private schools but that the programme was later expanded to include public schools. She said despite the difficulties in organizing the event, she had been consistent with it adding that the competition progressed to a point where public school pupils emerged winners.

She said: “The major motivation is to bring back the spelling culture. In our days, dictation was compulsory. You cannot do without written communication and then when you write, it is expedient that you write it right.

“That’s why we want to introduce these children to correct spellings, correct pronunciations, according to the British standards especially and also to enable them develop the spirit of sportsmanship.

“You know life is not all about winning, it’s a competition. If you win thank God for you, if you lose or misspell a word it doesn’t mean that you are an outright failure. So, it helps boost their self-esteem and their confidence over the years. When they come you will see that they improve on their level of confidence, and they increase the milestones they achieve in the competition”.

She said the concluded event was a spillover from the 2018 edition. She said the flood that ravaged Bayelsa in 2018 caused the spillover. According to her the 2019 edition of the competition will commence in October.

The poet expressed happiness that schools from rural and coastal communities took part in the programme. “So we are spreading our tentacles and gradually it will become statewide, and something regional”, she said.

She poured encomiums on the Sunday Robert Iworiso Foundation and Iworiso-Markson for bankrolling most of the expenses. “Thank God for the Commisioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso Markson, and his father’s foundation Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation. They took up a huge chunk of the sponsorship, that’s why the event is this elaborate and glamourous.

“We have decided to infuse funds into it, to make education fun. Life is not all about singing and dancing. Education is the passport to the future, whether we like it or not. Even if you have a skill, be an educated skilled worker, that way you become innovative, and your growth process will be rapid,” she said.

On her part the Chief Executive Officer (RSIF) Miss Timi Ovuru, described the foundation as a philanthropic organisation established to support education, literacy and skilled programmes.

She said: “Last year the foundation had a debate programme where the winners got scholarships and cash prizes respectively. We have gathered here again for the spelling bee Bayelsa, and the Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation, is offering another round of cash scholarships and cash prizes to the winners.

“The foundation is here to encourage, support inspire people, children and youths of Bayelsa state, to invest their time in self-development because the truth is without education, we can’t go anywhere. The world is growing.”

Delivering the message of Iworiso-Markson to the children, Seiyefa Udaka said: “The information commissioner said I should tell you people as children and students that the youths are the future leaders and you have to prepare yourselves very well, to occupy your future leader positions.

“Education is one very important thing that everybody needs it. Without education, you cannot be a commissioner. Without education the Governor cannot be a Governor, without education, a teacher cannot be a teacher without education, Bill Gates cannot be a wealthy man in the world.

“So you can see the importance of education, because if you are not educated, you cannot be anywhere and if not for education, I would have not also left my home, to be here but education projected us, pushed us to this level and that is why we as parents encouraging you that you must be more and better educated than us as parents. And of course every good parent, must tell his children, and pray to God for his children to be better than the parents that are our prayer for his you.”

She told the children that out of love for education, the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, introduced free education in schools. She said Dickson also built special boarding schools in the state and appealed to the children to take the advantage of opportunities provided by the governor in the educational sector.

She said: “So it is very important that you must take your education very seriously, and we also advise our parents that our children must be properly educated, and encourage them to go to school.

“That is why the government of Bayelsa state, in this restoration government has put in place, so many educational facilities in ensuring that that our children and our state, will never lag behind in education in our country.”

Culled from here

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