“This is a disaster” - That was the expression The Guardian Newspaper (in an editorial on March 13, 2016) used to describe the deplorable situation of education in Nigeria. It further stated:
“Education is the soul of a nation, the key to its secured future but it is
a well-known fact that Nigeria’s is deteriorating… From primary through
secondary to the tertiary level, the rot is mind-boggling. It is a decline,
which must be arrested if Nigeria’s future would not be jeopardised.”
Low interest in reading is a contributing factor to low academic performance. It also affects students performance, self development and early acquisition of leadership skills. Emmanuel Fawole founded OAFEDUCONCEPTS Community Initiative to address this vital issue. We strive to open the minds of young ones to making reading a habit. Using various incentive-based enrichment activities including, but not limited to, spelling contests, debates, essays, quizzes and presentations. Our experience with community spelling bee contests held and hosted revealed that spelling bee contest alone has the following benefits: learning grammar, enhancing vocabulary, improving cognitive skills, confidence and ability to handle pressure. Sadly many children are not exposed to this important activity early in life.
A volunteer helped us pick the books at the Jos office in northern Nigeria and transported them by road to the project destination at ancient city of Ibadan (South West Nigeria). We are extremely grateful to the entire team at Books2Africa BOOKS2AFRICA for giving our Community Initiative the much needed support to move on and to open the minds of young ones to making reading a habit through spelling event, one of our various incentive-based enrichment activities.
The support of BOOKS2AFRICA and efforts of OAFEDUCONCEPTS Community Initiative founder, volunteers and friends really paid off. The number of registered spellers was thirty four (34). The students were divided to Senior and Junior categories.
The Senior category was well contested and ran into the 8th Round in the quest to identify the best three Spellers in the community. The three spellers that emerged from the competition in this category are Richard Glory (1st), Adebayo Oluwatofunmi (2nd) and Ajayi Favour (3rd). They all received textbooks donated by BOOKS2AFRICA and notebooks from the founder.
The Junior category ran into the 9th Round after which Adegbola Temidayo (1st), Olamide Olatide (2nd) and Etop Nelson (3rd) emerged the best three spellers. They all received textbooks donated by BOOKS2AFRICA. Hilkiah Fawole (Age 4+) also received honorary mention for entertaining all present by spelling words like “eight”, “eleven” and the star word “staphylococci” which he learnt from the film “Akeelah and the Bee”. It was all fun as all participants received textbooks donated by BOOKS2AFRICA. Refreshment was provided for all participants and volunteers.
Even the children that didn’t win star prizes said they gained more confidence, built better vocabulary and are determined to be great spellers. All the children participated for the first time and would like to take part next time.
“I have never participated in any spelling competition before. This has exposed me and given me confidence to work hard to be a great speller. I love this competition” – Tofunmi
“Now I understand more words, their pronunciation and origin. I can use this in my essay and on daily basis” – Ifenna
At OAFEDUCONCEPTS, we will continue to take train of our incentive-based enrichment activities to various communities in order to motivate, educate and support education of young people with fewer opportunities. We hope to receive further support from organizations like BOOKS2AFRICA to achieve this.