About 2,000 public and private schools in Ekiti State are currently participating in the 2016 edition of the State Annual Spelling Bee, which the organizers (the state government in collaboration with private investors) said will cover primary and secondary schools.
Speaking at the launch of the competition at the Christ’s Girls School, Ado Ekiti, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola, said the Ayo Fayose-led government would leave no stone unturned in moving education to enviable height at primary and secondary levels in the state.
Pointing out that education at these levels form the bedrock for the future of any youth, Olusola said the government is ready to exploit every opportunity that will make it retain the first position the state recorded in the 2016 National Examinations Council (NECO) and also maintain the same feat in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in 2017.
He said the programme would hold simultaneously in seven centres- Ado Ekiti, Ikole, Ikere, Ijero, Ido, Omuo and Igede Ekiti- to ensure proximity for all the participating schools and to prevent putting schools in remote areas at the disadvantage.
“The state government will give cash award as well as donate laptop computers to schools, teachers and students of schools that come first, second and third in the competition.
“Education at the primary and secondary schools determine what the future of any youth will be. This competition will help in preparing our students, who are our tomorrow ahead of this world of competition and will help in keeping them in the right perspective on how to embark on critical thinking to rise to any academic challenge.”
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Eegunjobi, explained that the government will give award in three categories such as primary, junior secondary and senior categories at the end of the competition. Eegunjobi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adekunbi Obaisi, added that the grand finale will hold in May next year in Ado Ekiti.
He urged the panel handling the competition not to bend the rule or favour any school, as it might stall the dream behind the competition. He warned that any school found to have compromised the system will be disqualified, while appealing to private organisations and well-meaning individuals to invest in the education sector, which he described as the most indelible identity of any Ekiti man at the national level.