spelling bee

By : Refilwe Mereyotlhe

A group of grade eight and nine pupils came in numbers at Progress Comprehensive High School for what was going be a fierce and exciting competition when Distinctive Learning Academy (DLA) launched its first spelling bee competition.

DLA is a non-profit company (NPC) initiative providing tutoring services. Founded by Nkosinathi Vilanculos in 2015 it was formally registered a year later.

As an education student at the University of Johannesburg, Nathi has always passionate about tutoring and therefore giving private lessons until he decided to expand his passion of teaching by helping more children. The company “aims to help learners with their academic studies and also, to increase the pass rate of schools all across Gauteng”. Meanwhile, 20 grade 8 and 9 pupils participated in the five round spelling bee in front of a panel of 3 judges.

Thami Matloha, Lerato Dire, Nomzamo Mpophoma

The spell Master’s rules and procedures’ explained to all participants and then Round one began, which is referred to as a practice round where no one got eliminated from the competition. Elimination started in round 14:00pm where all 20 learners were given prescribed words and by the end of round two, only 16 learners remained.

The competition seemed to be a tough one as it was already round three but most learners were still partaking in the competition ,and knew their words but little did they know that their spelling knowledge of mystery words will only see three of them competing in round four.

  • Delusion
  • Volunteer and ;
  • Juxtaposition

Were the three deciding words of the top two which send their fellow speller packing; either forward in the competition or out of the competition. ‘Delusion’ was definitely delusional because it took it’s speller, 13 year-old grade eight pupil, Hlavutelo home, leaving the 13 year-old Nkateko Macebele and 15 year-old Lehlohonolo Lesiba to compete for the first title of DLA’s first spelling bee championship.

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In the last and final round Lehlohonolo was given the word artificial and Nkateko was give disastrous; and for the latter it was a disastrous last word as Lehlohonolo was champed the winner.

Champion: 15 year-old Lehlohonolo Lesiba with his certificate, gold medal and a cap.

When asked how u prepared for the competition, he said: “to be honest, I didn’t really prepare. Most words that we were given are words that I already knew. I have a very good memory so I remember most words from the tutoring classes given by Lerato Dire on Saturdays”.

Lerato Dire who gives English classes every Saturday from 8am to 12 midday said her passion for education makes her wake up every Saturday morning to give back to the kids and community. “I don’t mind doing this for free, as long as I’m helping these kids. The best way they can pay me is by passing their English.”

At the moment DLA has no sponsors and depend on the support of the school’s principal and learning resources given to them by the school as well as the R50 monthly payments that the learners pays which is almost close to nothing. For them, it’s all about helping learners get good academic results so that they can make Bette decisions for the future.

Anyone who wishes to help DLA in any manner can contact Nkosinathi on email: teddynathi@gmail.com or call in: 061 837 6143.