A total of 35 pupils from various schools in Kumasi, Obuasi and Sunyani have qualified for the National Spelling Bee Championship finals next February.
In all, about 40 spellers aged seven to thirteen battled it out at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Business in Kumasi to represent the northern sector.
The 35 will join 58 other spellers from the southern sector, who have also qualified for the nationals in Accra next year.
Programmes Manager-Young Educators Foundation, Salome Dzakpasu, speaking to B&FT after end of the semi-final contest, urged the spellers to read and train more as this is the surest way they can make it to the top.
She added that Spelling Bee competitions help nurture young talents by boosting their self-confidence and public-speaking abilities.
“They should read more, learn more about words. It helps them to read well, boost their confidence and vocabulary. These are the things we are nurturing in them, so that by the time they reach secondary school they will have built something around them that help them to be confident and good at public-speaking, and generally be good at whatever they will be doing,” she said.
The trainer for spellers from KNUST Basic School, Michael Gyan Kwaffo, brought 11 pupils to the contest and had all of them qualify for the finals in Accra.
He told B&FT that seeing all his candidates qualify for the finals brings him satisfaction, as their hard work has yielded fruit.
“Training was tough and demanding; every Saturday at 8am to 2pm we met to train, apart from their zoom meetings. We needed to make sure they were following up, making sure assignments were done on time. Today, looking at their performance, it is really satisfying knowing that whatever we did has been fruitful. We brought in eleven spellers and they have all qualified to the finals. I am very proud,” he said.
Touching on plans to have his spellers win the ultimate award, Mr. Kwaffo said he and his team will not relent in their effort but work hard to push the pupils to the highest pedestal.
Carmen Khloe Efua Nhyira Aidoo, a nine-year-old speller from KNUST Basic School, expressed joy for making it to the national finals.