The spelling bee is an annual competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. The concept is thought to have originated in the United States and spelling bee events, along with variants, are now also held in some other countries around the world.

The annual Uganda National Spelling Bee organized by enjuba is back, now in its 6th edition. This year, there are over 1,000,000 children in 1,200 schools participating in this fun and exciting literacy competition across Uganda.

enjuba is a children’s catalytic education organisation with a focus on improving literacy and developing 21st century life skills like communication, collaboration and critical thinking. Through Teacher Trainings, Reading Activities in schools, publishing of beautifully illustrated yet culturally relevant children’s books, and annual Spelling Bees – a Spelling competition for children – enjuba is helping children to learn words, their etymology and how these words are used in sentences. enjuba’s programmes are supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Aaron Kirunda, the CEO of Enjuba revealed that there is excitement ahead of the sixth edition.

There has been a lot of eagerness and excitement from schools and parents from all corners of Uganda, wanting to participate. We have seen district education officials come on board with a lot of enthusiasm and we are super excited about these new organic partnerships at the local government.

In Uganda, the Ministry of Education and Sports has endorsed the Enjuba Spelling Bee and Reading Clubs to conduct the Uganda National Spelling Bee in local language for P.3 pupils and English and sign language for P.4 to P.7 pupils. The competitions are set to start in the first term.

The competition is aimed at improving literacy, broadening children’s imagination and developing key life skills like self confidence, teamwork, critical thinking, and presentation. 52% of Uganda’s population is of children below the age of 15 with most of them in primary schools. It is that population being targeted with this competition.

All schools set to compete will need to acquire a minimum of five readers from Enjuba that can be used to in preparation for the Spelling Bee and related activities at the school. All schools are also expected to setup reading clubs to enable the children develop a reading culture.

The ministry expects schools and their respective Head Teachers as well as District Education Officers to adhere to this program in order to achieve the best results possible.

Commenting on the Spelling Bee, the Assistant Commissioner for Basic Education at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Tony Mukasa-Lusambu said; “Activities like the Spelling Bee are a powerful way of igniting the curiosity to read among our learners which helps to improve literacy.” “The Ministry of Education endorses this program and is happy to work with enjuba to ensure our children learn to read.” He added.

Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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