Eighteen North West Spelling Bee Winners Make It To Nationals

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Eighteen students are set to represent the North West region at the upcoming National Spelling Bee Competitions in Gaborone after emerging successful at the regional ones that were held in Maun this past Friday.

As the results were unveiled, Crystal Koetlisi, Babusi Moseki, and Lorato Osenotse emerged as champions in their respective categories of Primary, Junior, and Senior School respectively. However, a total of 18 students were selected, with each category designating five representatives and one reserve.

Notably, a majority of the winners were females, and the Primary Schools category boasted the highest attendance with an impressive 90 contestants.  Delta Waters School claimed the most winners, though government schools overall took the majority of victories. These chosen champions will now prepare to showcase their spelling prowess on a national stage in Gaborone.

Crystal Koetlisi, an 11-year-old from Chanoga Primary School and the primary section champion, was elated with her victory. “I am so happy to come out as a champion and would like to thank my coach, my parents, and God for bringing me here. I think I will do well in the finals,” she shared enthusiastically.

Thuso Mafoko, the North West region Vice Chairman of Spelling Bee Botswana, expressed his satisfaction with the contestants’ performance. “All the contestants have done well, and I see growth in many of them. It’s encouraging to see new faces coming to the competitions and showing potential,” Mafoko stated in an interview.

Mafoko revealed that the primary objective of the spelling bee competition is to instill a culture of reading and literacy among students, while also serving as a source of entertainment for the community. “Considering how far we have come, I can see growth in attendance, which has undoubtedly led to unearthing new potential,” he remarked.

Mafoko emphasized that the competitions are not solely about winning or losing; they also aim to track the academic progress of participants.  “The competitions are a way to help boost the results of the North West region. We will track the students who have competed to see if the competitions have had a positive impact on their academic performance. This presents a competition that is entertaining but also has a more purposeful goal to help students academically,” Mafoko explained.

Spelling Bee Botswana, an organization that facilitates spelling competitions for children across the country, was founded in 2012. Originally an American concept, it has been adapted to meet the unique needs of the Botswana market. Since its inception, the organization has grown significantly, covering multiple regions and involving thousands of students. Its mission is to help students improve their grasp of the English language through engaging and competitive spelling contests.

In recent years, the popularity of the Spelling Bee competitions has surged. This year marked a significant milestone with the inaugural SADC-inclusive Spelling Bee competitions for the Deaf, which brought together contestants from Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

As the national spelling bee competitions approach, the chosen contestants from the Northwest region will undoubtedly continue to hone their skills and prepare for the challenge ahead. The community eagerly anticipates seeing their young champions shine on a larger stage, representing their region with pride and showcasing the fruits of their hard work and dedication.

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