Dawn News

National spelling bee contest concludes

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: The eighth ‘Dawn in Education National Spelling Bee Contest’ concluded here on Thursday.

The participants were divided into three age groups - nine to 11, 12 to 14 and 15 to 17 years.In the nine to 11 year category, Jazim Nadeem from EMS High School Islamabad became the national champion, Zeshan Rasool from Karachi Grammar School bagged the second position and Maheen Amir remained third.

In the 12 to 14 year age group, Leila Rasul Khan of Karachi Grammar School was declared the national champion, while Furqan Alavi of EMS High School Islamabad remained the first runner-up and Khadija Azhar the second runner-up.

In the category of 15 to 17 years, Mohammad Ahsen Iqbal of Lahore Grammar School, Multan, was declared the national champion, Mohammad Daniyal Ali of Karachi Grammar School bagged the second position and Hira Irfan of Lahore College of Arts and Sciences, Johar Town, Lahore, the third position.

Managing Director Oxford University Press Dr Amina Sayeed was the judge of the contest.

Peter M. Brennan, the minister-consular for communications and public affairs at the US embassy, was the chief guest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, he said the contest would be helpful for the participants in the rest of their life.

He said within a few years, the competition would get tougher because around 3.2 million students, who recently started their studies, were studying English in Pakistan and out of them 10,000 would become experts in the English language.

He said the US had been cooperating with Pakistan in the field of education and also arranged training programmes for teachers.

Cash prizes of Rs25,000 were given to the champions, Rs15,000 to the first runner-ups and Rs10,000 to the second runner ups.

Champion of 15 to 17 years category, Mohammad Ahsen Iqbal, said he worked hard. “My mother sits on a chair and I walk around her in the room and she keeps asking me spelling of the words. That is how I do my preparations.”

The first runner-up, Mohammad Daniyal Ali, said he also likes mathematics and during the contest he got an SMS about his participation in a quiz regarding Algebra.

“I am also interested in cooking so I have been thinking of becoming a chef,” he said. The second runner-up, Hira Irfan, said she loves to sleep all the time and plays tennis if she gets time.

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