Sunday, 3 April 2011

Lofa Wins Spelling Bee

Three Students of the Spelling Bee Competition
Lofa Wins Spelling Bee

Nat Bayjay, (231-77-402737) & Jetee Tarr (Intern Reporter) 05-5479621

Little did Koikoi S. Karbah, Sampson Mulbah and Emmanuel Newton know that the serial numbers of 033, 038 and 036 assigned them were coincidental numbers that would have landed them the first, second and third places respectively for the National Spelling Bee competition.

The trio of brainy school kids from Lofa, Montserrado and Maryland Counties respectively stood tall among a total of 44 students drawn from the 15 sub divisions---three from each-of the counties in a hugely contested Grand National Finals held at the Monrovia City Hall over the weekend. One of Nimba’s three winners forfeited due to illness.

Karbah from the Zorzor Central High School in Lofa, Mulbah from Montserrado’s Special Project and Newton from the Barraken Elementary in Maryland were awarded with cash prizes of US$1,500, US$1,000 and US$500 respectively.

“Well, being the first winner I’m feeling very proud and I had the confidence that through God this cup was going to come to Lofa county”, said Koikoi, whose victory runs parallel  to taking the grand trophy to the Vice President’s county of origin.
For second place Mulbah, it was not his will but ‘God’s’. “It is not my will to come second but thank God that I am one of the winners.”
The climax of the weekend’s finals of the Fourth Annual event of the Spelling Bee brought to an end the hugely contested academic competition which takes place at the levels of school, districts, county and then national. It helps build up the skills of young school kids. The finalists from various counties convene on the Capital for at least one of the three trophies.

Held under the patronage of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, the competition which aims to reduce illiteracy is organized annually by the Ministry of Education and sponsored by its partners including the US Embassy, First International Bank Liberia Limited, Lonestar Cell communication and others.

The Bee, which began last September, witnessed the Ambassador for the United States of America, Linda Thomas Greenfield and other officials of the Ministry of Education gracing the occasion.
Said Dr. Mator Kpangbai Deputy Education Minister for Instructions: “Koikoi, being the first winner of the 2011 Liberia National Spelling Bee competition, is a great thing because some of his friends will see him as a stepping stone.”
Ambassador Greenfield could only add: “This is a sweet moment for the American Embassy and we hope to see the children of Liberia serious and focused on their lessons.”
She also encouraged students to use the Embassy’s Library in order to build their reading and spelling skills.