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Ministry organises spelling contest to boost literacy

Pupils from 400 primary schools will compete in a spelling competition that is to take place this month.

Dubbed “Kenya’s Ultimate Spelling Contest”, the competition will involve Standard Five, Six and Seven pupils in public and private institutions.

The event is organised by Kenya Literature Bureau and Spell It Right, an organisation involved in literacy schemes.

Participating schools will be drawn from Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos and Kiambu counties.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the programme would compliment government efforts to improve literacy in public primary schools.

Dr Matiang’i’s remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by the director general of basic education Leah Rotich during the launch of the contest at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Ms Rotich told the audience that she did not attend nursery school but was instead taught how to read by her father.

“This saw me get ahead of the pack when it came to reading, as I had a committed ‘tutor’, something that has worked for me,” she said.

Ms Rotich added that spelling it right would not only help children in writing, reading and basically improving their grade, but would also create confidence in them.

Spell It Right team leader Sylvia Njambi said the organisation was inspired to start the programme by poor reading and writing skills of the millennials and “generation X”.

“Employers are concerned about the calibre of modern-day graduates. Many cannot write reports or think critically,” Ms Njambi said.

The competition, will have three levels: School (internal), inter-school (county championships) and inter county or national level, which will be the final.

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