South Africa: Basic Education Crowns 2019 Spelling Bee and Albert Luthuli Oral History Champions

press release

The 2019 Spelling Bee came to a rousing crescendo, as young Bayyinah Majoo from Star College Sybrand in the Western Cape, took her place as queen of the hive and scooped the 2019 Spelling Bee honours.

Twenty-seven hopefuls between Grade 4 and 6 from around the country, gathered at the ZK Mathews Hall (Theo Van Wijk building), at the UNISA Main Campus in Pretoria to put their spelling to the test against their peers from across the country. Hosted in collaboration with The Department of Arts and Culture, SABC Education, The AVBOB Foundation and UNISA, the Spelling Bee, which was initiated in 2014, is indicative of the Department's commitment to improving Reading culture across the country.

While at the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria, hopefuls from across the country put their historic, storytelling and recital skills to the test in the 2019 Inkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition. The iNkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Programme is an initiative, which celebrates the lives of significant heroes, heroines, as well as unsung heroes and heroines who have brought about Democracy, Peace, Unity and Nation Building. It also creates platforms for engagements on significant historical events that took place within the country, the Continent and Globally. The Oral History Programme further rekindles the love for History as a subject of choice in schools and expands the knowledge on heritage and cultural aspects.

"It is only through reading that one's grasp of language and spelling can be improved. Today, we witnessed first-hand the value of reading with understanding from a young age, be it our champion spellers or our Oral History champions with their compelling storytelling, and have certainly raised the bar," added spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga

Having come successfully through the provincial rounds representatives in both competitions braved the might of the adjudicators, held their nerve and represented their provinces with aplomb. As the Spelling Bee continues to grow, the latter part of 2019 will see the Department Pilot 4 new African Languages to be used in the Spelling Bee, namely, Tshonga, Venda, SePedi as well as SeSwati, which will only prove to strengthen the Departments efforts to promote and preserve African Languages, as well as a culture of reading with understanding.

Issued by: Department of Basic Education

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