An a-c-h-i-e-v-e-m-e-n-t for a Seychellois student that the dictionary says is “worthy of respect”
It was a ‘considerable’ achievement for 10-year-old Anand Pandian.
Anand won the second edition of the Spelling Bee Competition organised in Seychelles on Sunday by spelling the 12-letter word that means “rather large or great in size, distance; worthy of respect extent, etc.: It cost a considerable amount of skill.”
In the spelling bee competition, contestants were asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage.
Anand, a pupil of Mont Fleuri Primary School, won $109, a tablet and a certificate. The same prize went to the first runner up, Gabriella Havelock of Perseverance Primary.
The same prize went to the first runner up, Gabriella Havelock of Perseverance Primary. (Thomas Meriton) Photo License: CC-BY
Aimed at encouraging students to explore and study the English language and its roots, the national competition was organised by the Seychelles Centennial Women Lions Club in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development.
“This year the standard is higher than that of last year as the competition was tougher. Pupils were better prepared as compared to last year when we first hosted the competition. Pupils were not sure of what to expect,” said Brigitte Labonte, the event coordinator.
A total of 52 contestants between nine to eleven years from all state schools across the country, including Independent and International School participated this year.
Labonte said that for this edition, the pupils worked closely with their teachers and parents. The competition also lasted longer as pupils spelt more words than last year.
Schools in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, are encouraged to hold their own spelling bee competition, from which the two best candidates are entered as contestants for the national contest.
Labonte said that the national competition is based on the Scripps Spelling Bee, a competition organised in the United States since 1925.
“The words being spelt in the US are much more advanced than what we in Seychelles are spelling. Each country organising a spelling bee has its own rules and ways of doing things, and base the spelling bee on the level of the pupils,” explained Labonte.
She added that “there is a possibility that the two best candidates of the national competition in Seychelles can participate on an international level. For this to happen, we will need to do some networking with holders of competitions internationally.”
The competition in Seychelles is expected to take place on a yearly basis. The organisers also hope to bring the spelling bee to secondary schools.
Source: Seychelles News Agency