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The S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G B-E-E is back! Are you ready? 

Aaron Kirunda

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 21stcentury 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.

“There has been a lot of eagerness and excitement from schools and parents from all corners of Uganda, wanting to participate.” Aaron Kirunda, the Chief Executive of enjuba said. “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.” He added.

The Spelling Bee is conducted in 4 categories thus: Junior Spelling Bee for children 5-8; Sign Language Spelling Bee for P.4 – P.6, English Spelling Bee for P.4 – P.6 pupils and Local Language Spelling Bee for P.3 pupils in Runyankole, Rukiga, Runyoro, Rutooro, Luganda, Lusoga, Acholi, Lugbarati, Leblango, Dhapadhola, and Ateso and Ŋikarimojoŋ.

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The District/Regional Spelling Bee events will start on June 11th& 12that Galaxy International School in Lubowa, and will be followed by an event in Jinja on June 20th& 21st; Masindi July 2nd; Arua July 3rd; Maracha July 4th; Gulu July 5th; Lira July 6th; Kaabong July 7th; Bukedea 9th; Bugiri 11th; Iganga 12th; Masaka 16th; Mbarara 17th; Kabale 18th; Bushenyi 19th; Fort Portal 21st; Kampala 28th; and Tororo August 17th.

The enjuba Spelling Bee events will take place co-current with the enjuba Wordsmith Writing Competition. The best two schools and winner for local language and writing competition from each of these district/regional events will represent their regions at the National Spelling Bee in Kampala on October 20that the Kampala Serena Hotel. The sign language participants will come straight to the nationals.

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.

The winners of this year’s National Spelling Bee will take home a bounty of prizes and also form a team to represent Uganda at the African Spelling Bee in 2019. Last year, Uganda emerged winner of this continental prize.