Three students from the Tetteh Ocloo State School for the Deaf, Abiba Alhassan Abubakar, Godsway Nawaf, and Naa Korkor Akrashie Mels, have qualified to join other qualifiers from various schools across the country to participate in the 2022 National Spelling Bee competition scheduled for February next year.
The trio emerged as winners who accumulated the most scores of the two sessions from the school-based spelling competition at the Tetteh Ocloo State School for the Deaf, making way for them to join the finalists for the national competition.
The organizers, Young Educators Foundation (YEF) based on their policy of inclusion believes every child deserves a chance hence made an effort to rope in the school of the Deaf into the spelling Programme. The students will however undergo a series of training to prepare them for the national competition.
For YEF, The Spelling Bee is a non-discriminatory programme targeted at both male and female students, regardless of their socio-economic background or physical abilities.
“After successfully including students from the School for the Blind in Akropong in the programme for five years, The Spelling Bee entered a partnership with the Tetteh Ocloo State School for the Deaf and enrolled hearing-impaired students into the programme.
For the first edition, an initial 20 students were trained and competed among themselves at the school’s level. They joined the mainstream group in February 2019 and Godsway Nawaf placed in the top 5 on his first try. Encouraged by this performance, another group of Spellers were trained for the 2020 edition which took place in Kumasi, under the auspices of Manhyia Palace. And now the 2022 national competition.
There’s the need to include differently able people. The policy of inclusion should be a universal one, a standard where every institution creates opportunities for these students just like any other students,” Eugenia Tachie-Menson, the CEO of YEF has said.
The trio are confident of excelling at the national level as they are going to extensive train to meet other finalists.
For Abibaba Alhasan Abubakar, the ultimate winner for the school competition, a win at the national level by any of them is what they expect to change the narrative. “I initially thought I could not spell but with practice, I know I can spell very well. I always go to the Internet to learn new words and I hope one of us wins at the national level,” she said.
Responding to what they need to better train, she said, they hope to get sign language dictionaries to learn new words and improve their spelling and literacy skills.
- According to the headmaster of the school, Isaac Arthur, the role of the YEF to build the literal capacities of the students can not be underestimated as his outfit has realised a positive change in the academic performances of the participants from his school.
About The Spelling Bee
Targeted at students between ages 7-13, The Spelling Bee is a spelling competition that teaches students how to use the English language effectively. The Spelling Bee builds the capacity of students by taking them through the rudiments of spelling and teaching them how the English language works.
The Spelling Bee is a franchise of the internationally acclaimed Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) in the USA; Ghana has been the only African country that participates in the competition for 15 years now.