Kazeem Ugbodaga

Sixteen-year old Master Idowu Sonoiki of Ikotun Senior High School, Ikotun, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, is the next One-Day Governor of the state for 2015, having emerged winner of the 2015 Spelling Bee Competition for senior secondary schools in the state.

The Ogun State indigene, an SS1 student, beat 15-year-old Master Faaizi Abdullaidi of Omole Senior High School, Ojodu and 14-year-old Master Fehinti Dahunsi of Lagos State Senior Model College, Kankon to the second and third positions respectively.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye noted that students had taken full advantage of the opportunity provided by the competition to excel, not only in the competition, but also in their studies as evidenced in the marked improvement in academic performance.

“It is heart-warming to note that the goals of the competition have been achieved as evidenced in the performance of our students at various external exanimations. Again, I am gladdened by the fact that many of the past winners of the competition are now successful men and women in their chosen and enviable careers such as medicine, engineering, law, among others,” she said.

Oladunjoye expressed delight at the strong awareness the Spelling Bee Competition had generated among students and pupils at all levels in the sState, adding that past winners of the competition had continued to sustain the tradition of excellence that the competition is associated with.

“The overall goals of the competition are to help students improve their spelling skills; increase their vocabulary and develop correct English usage; create good reading habits that will lead to better academic performance and boost the confidence of participants with a view to preparing them for future endeavours,” she explained.

Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, noted that the competition was important as it raised the profile of reading and cements the connection that is shared between sounds and letters.

“Learning spelling words is not only important to a child’s future but helps to lay the basic foundation that every student will need throughout their educational life,” she said.

The Director-General said her office was not unmindful of its responsibility of ensuring that quality and high standard were attained in schools, saying that the Office had held a workshop for all stakeholders in both the private and public sectors for the review of instruments and the regular monitoring of the quality of teaching/learning and leadership/management of secondary schools in order to support them to improve learners’ performance, especially in external examinations.

According to her, all these efforts would soon reflect positively in the students’ performance in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) results, among other examinations.

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