Primary school students from throughout Samoa will put their spelling skills to the test as part of a national spelling competition, starting today.
Organised by TV3, the National Spelling Bee Competition, starts with 14 Primary Schools from the big island of Savai’i.
They are Salelologa, Sapapali’i, Lano, Puapua, Asau, Papa Sataua, Falealupo, Falelima, Gataivai, Faiaai, Fogatuli, Taga, Patamea, Saleaula and Satupaitea.
General Manager of TV3, Verona Parker, said the idea is to promote the importance of learning, spelling and reading among young people.
“We are big on educational programmes and we are also grateful to the business community for supporting us and making it happen,” she said.
“The organization of good programmes is very challenging when the finance is not there but because there is not enough content on television to educate our youngsters who are being easily distracted by various forms of technology that are up there, we felt that we need to engage them more on television and provide them with that.”
Mrs. Parker said they are working with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in terms of words that are in the curriculum.
“We are taking the competition out to villages in Savaii and Upolu. The idea is to try and eliminate the travelling expenses while at the same time give the kids the experience that normally for the Upolu students get to enjoy more than the Savaii students.
“We are excited and we have a team of about 10 staff members that will be going across as we will be starting from 8:30 in the morning right up to 2:30 in the afternoon and transportation will be provided for the students.”
The two-week programme will see schools divided into zones. Savai’i for example will have four zones. The programme will be aired every Wednesday night.
“The students will have the ability to gain confidence in the public and being filmed in front of television,” Mrs. Parker said.
“This is a lot for the students to be prepared for and have that learning taken out of the school classroom and in front of the public eye.
“As for the prizes there will be a cash component of this competition that the students will benefit from, thanks to the Bank of the South Pacific and many other sponsors of the programme.”
TV3 is also working on a Secondary School Spell competition.