LAHORE: The 13th Dawn in Education Spelling Bee Contest’s national championship round concluded after sessions of a thrilling competition among well-prepared students here on Tuesday.
The national championship was held at the Ali Institute of Education (AIE) auditorium on Ferozepur Road. The regional champions of three age groups from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad competed in the finale.
As many as 30 students participated in the final round of the competition. The participants who had won their regional competitions were divided into three age groups i.e. 9 to 11, 12 to 14 and 15 to 17 years.
The Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan partnered Dawn in raising educational standards by enhancing vocabulary and improving language skills of students through the Spelling Bee competitions.
In the 9-11 years category, Ayesha Kakakhel of EMS High School Girls, Rawalpindi, became the national champion, Areeba Ali of Bahria College, Cambridge Wing, Rawalpindi was first runner-up and Mikail Faisal Ejaz of Aitchison College, Lahore, was 2nd runner-up.
In the 12 to 14 years age group, Sameen Khan of Super Nova School, Rawalpindi, became the national champion, Malaika Hassan of Beaconhouse School -- BMI Girls, Rawalpindi, was first runner-up and Aqsa Hassan of Lahore Grammar School, 55 Main Lahore, was second runner-up.
In the 15 to 17 years age group, Nirvana Amjad of Khaldunia High School, Rawalpindi, became the national champion, Zainab Moin of Khaldunia High School, Rawalpindi, was first runner-up and Rija Masroor of Generation School South, Karachi, was second runner-up.
Lahore Division Commissioner Abdullah Khan Sumbal was the chief guest and he distributed trophies and other prizes among the participants. The champions were given cash prize of Rs25,000 each, first runner-up (Rs15,000) and second runner-up (Rs10,000). The other participants in the grand finale were given Rs5,000 each.
The jury panel comprised Ismat Riaz and Qudsia Anwar. The moderator of the event was Rabeea Salman and pronouncers were David Purrington and Tanwir Shah.
The commissioner congratulated the Dawn Media Group for successfully completing the championship and said it was wonderful to see the students of different age groups compete in an electrifying atmosphere. He also lauded the teachers and parents for preparing the students for the competition.
He said the competition was quite challenging and it brought forth the extraordinary talent of the students who had given correct answers.
Mr Sufiyan Kakakhel, the proud father of national champion Ayesha Kakakhel, expressed his delight to be part of the event. He said it was a proud moment for the family as first his daughter was chosen from among 600 schoolchildren who wanted to participate in the contest, then she bagged first position in the Islamabad regional championship and eventually won the finale.
He said the credit for the girl’s achievement went to her teachers who helped her in preparation for the contest.
Mikail Faisal Ejaz from Lahore’s Aitchison College who clinched third position in the national championship (age group 9 to 11) said it was his first experience at Dawn Spelling Bee and had certainly increased his interest in reading.
His mother said she was proud of Mikail’s achievement in the national championship.
Speaking to Dawn, Sameen Khan of Super Nova School, Rawalpindi, said she participated in the competition for the second time and it gave her confidence and a great learning experience.
Nirvana Amjad (Khaldunia High School, Rawalpindi) said she cherished every minute of the competition that had been exhilarating. She said that being a lover of books she felt that she could compete in the event.
More than 7,000 students from 800 schools across Pakistan competed in the pool rounds during the current year which were held in Skardu, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan, Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
As a part of Dawn in Education programme, the first Spelling Bee championship was conducted in 2005. Dawn in Education Spelling Bee is designed to help students improve their spellings, increase their vocabulary and learn new concepts.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2017