Grade 5 Cropper Primary School student Renee Bisnauth yesterday walked away with the title of National Spelling Bee champion, while winning the hearts of many in the process.
For Bisnauth, who received applause that echoed throughout the National Cultural Centre, the win means she has qualified to represent Guyana at the Caribbean Spelling Bee in St Kitts.
The national competition was launched on September 12 by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Bisnauth has won herself a netbook, an e-book reader, a flash drive, a desktop computer and a year of free DSL service for her school as well as a trophy.
She was also presented with three airline tickets to St Kitts, for her, a parent and a teacher.
Bisnauth won the competition when she correctly spelt “imperative.”
The first runner-up was District Four’s Rebecca Kaladeen, who will also be travelling to St Kitts. She was also presented with a netbook, a flash drive and a trophy.
Regional champions from the 11 districts all gathered to compete at yesterday’s final. Although not everyone walked away a winner, no one walked away empty-handed as other prizes such as book vouchers, digital cameras and trophies were given.
“We want the children of Guyana to be deeply and keenly interest in education and if they do, we will get the outcome and results needed,” Education Minister Shaik Baksh said before the competition commenced.
The minister urged the hundreds of students in attendance to attend school regularly and noted the importance of education as he spoke of the benefits of the curriculum that has been planned out.
The teachers were also urged to do the same. Baksh also explained that parents too need to pay keen interest in making sure that children do what is required of them when pursuing their education and to ensure their children “read, read and read.
“It is the objective; it is the goal that no child must be left behind.
All children must move up the education ladder so that they can advance their education at a life-long activity and you the children here must make a determination that you want to become the doctor, the lawyer, the engineer, the nurses, the teachers of tomorrow,” Baksh added.
Also addressing the audience was Chief Executive Officer of GT&T Yog Mahadeo, who indicated that he was very pleased at the response to the spelling bee, which saw about 1,000 entries and gained much support.
Mahadeo noted that this year’s competition was only the beginning and he urged students to encourage their friends to participate next time.
This, he said, will enhance the way children speak and the way they present themselves.
The CEO further commended the participants who travelled from far-flung areas to showcase their skill and abilities.
While noting that children are the future, he added that the aim of the competition was to identify young, bold, talented children, who will be the leaders of tomorrow. Teachers, he said, hold the noblest position throughout the world as he commended them, adding that “the best jobs one could have is that of a teacher.”
Among the sponsors were Austin’s Bookstore, Georgetown Reading and Research Centre, Wireless Connections, Starr Com- puters and Giftland Office-Max. The platinum sponsors were Geddes Grant and Haliborange.