Khanya College together with Wits University hosted a spelling bee competition on the 16th of August 2019 at the Workers Museum. The purpose of the spelling bee competition is to encourage and increase the culture of reading in children from within the Johannesburg schools. The spelling bee competition has been taking place several years now. It is hosted by Khanya College with the help of Wits University. The spelling bee competition has fulfilled its purpose in the past years, and only grade six learners could participate in the competition. However this year the spelling bee was open to primary learners who are in grade seven.
The number of learners needed per school was five and then an extra learner who was on standby in case one participant needed replacing. There were eighty learners from seventeen different schools who were part of the competition this year. Two school could not form part which would have made the number of entrants ninety learners. As part of preparations, the learners received words with which to practice. This was to help them have an idea of what to expect. All the spelling bee participants were to receive certificates for participation but the competition only had three winners. The winners will get their prizes at the Jozi Book Fair held from the 29th of August to the 1st of September 2019.
The competition final day saw the eighty learners compete in heat-rooms where there cuts made. There were twenty learners who qualified for the opening round; but only fourteen made it to the second round. The number further lessened to seven in the third round. Again, the number reduced to 6 learners in the next round before three learners remained in the fifth round.
These three learners were left to compete with one another. Two of the learners spelt the words incorrectly and the first one had to repeat the word that the second one failed to correct and spelt it correctly and she got a chance to spell again and she spelt it incorrectly. It was passed on to the next speller who also spelt it incorrectly. The round started again and all the words were spelt correctly. To separate the two, it went to another round but both spelt the next word incorrectly.
At last one of the participants spelt the given word correctly while the second learner made an error in spelling the same word. The round went on and on with one participant sometimes making a mistake in spelling while their counterpart correctly spelt it out. In the end Unathi from New Model College was declared the winner, with Shuhuda Rashid from Bree Primary came in at second place and Yeoville Community’s Samantha Mkandachawe took the 3rd and final place among the winners.