The competition, which brought together 30 students from various schools within the region, was held at the Regional Education Office, Region Six (6) URR, Basse on Saturday.
Mudasiru Jallow of Koba Kunda Lower Basic School took second position, in the competition meant to promote the importance of education in reading, comprehension, writing and spelling.
The two would now represent the region in the finals of the national championship due to be held in the month of June.
At the end of the competition, the best 10 competitors were awarded presents with all participants also being certified.
In his remarks, Tunde Muyi Ogundimu, CEO TAKE-M Transformation Organisation, said nothing could be done without teachers and parents, and therefore thanked them for what they have done.
This was a beginning they wanted others to emulate, he said, noting that they could not put the load of education on Government as they are doing the best they could.
The teachers are also doing their best, he went on, adding that the home has a role to play, as these are the future of the country and for them to be on top tomorrow they should start today.
“If you make them nothing today, tomorrow as leaders, they would be nothing,” he pointed out, while he called on all to do the best they could do to assist them (students) to be the arm of our future tomorrow.
“English language is a tool of communication which you can never do without, which is why we focus all our attention on the grassroots,” he noted.
Junior and senior secondary are no very much important, but the root is the primary school, he said.
“You are pushing them to the high ladder, and if they are sound at this level you expect the best out of them,” Mr Tunde stated, while describing the region as wonderful region.
The region’s vision statement, which is every school must have trained and motivated teachers, should be emulated by other regions, he said.
TAKE-M came up with something they could not do alone and called for support so that they could go higher.
He thanked FIBank, Unique Solutions and everyone who contributed in one way or the other in making the day a success.
Kajali Janneh, Senior Education Officer, who was also a judge during the spelling bee, said reading, writing, comprehension and spelling are the key cardinal pillars of education.
“If you have these, you have built a strong foundation,” he stated, describing the day as a day of promoting education.
He said complementing government’s effort was a step in the right direction, noting that as stakeholders in education, they greatly applaud the efforts of TAKE-M in contributing in the promotion of education in the region, and the country as a whole.
“Whosoever is a writer is an important player in education,” he observed, adding that every individual has a responsibility to promote national development, and one of the key areas of national development is education.
“A forum to express your potentials can lead you to higher heights, as well as open other opportunities for you,” he told competitors.
Ebrima Dukuray, FIBank representative, said in pursuing the bank’s interest with regards to social corporate responsibility the bank would continue engaging particularly children into similar competitions.
Such competitions would encourage students to live by the book and not by any other means, he pointed out, advising students to be vigilant with their studies in other to gain quality education, and not just going through schooling.
“You are our hope, the future leaders of this country, which is why FIBank value you so much,” Dukuray said, adding that FIBank would continue to give them the necessary support in pursuit of academic excellence.
He took time to introduce two of their products, which are the Child Trust Fund Account and the Special Saving Account.
The management of FIBank are pleased to be associated with such productive initiatives, he concluded.
Momodou S. Camara, Senior Education Officer, who represented the regional director region six (6), said he felt the words involved in the spelling bee competition might have been above Grade 4 to 6, but to his surprise, the children were able to spell the words with confidence.
They would support TAKE-M to the fullest and even provide them with funds if they do not have, he said, adding that they would identify schools that would take part, since it was geared toward the attainment of quality education, which the sector is yearning for.
Mr Camara described the move by TAKE-M as a step in the right direction, and a strategy in which they would be able to attain quality education.
He has no doubt that if the teachers continue their good work the region would lift the national championship, he remarked, suggesting that schools from all clusters of the region be invited next time to boost grassroots, but also to scout for funding.
He concluded by urging Gambian institutions to give such organisations the required support, and for other organisations who are stakeholders in education to emulate TAKE-M in motivating andexposing children to opportunities and well as for them to work harder.
Kaddijatou Baldeh of SOS Basse, the winner of the spelling bee completion, expressed delight being the champion, as it was a bit difficult but she did her best.
She would begin preparation for the national championship immediately in order to be also crowned national champion.
She urged others who could not make it to the finals to continue studying their spelling in other to improve on their writing and reading.
Mudasiru Jallow of Koba Kunda Lower Basic School, who came out second, said the competition was not at all difficult for him, adding that he would continue working with his teachers to better prepare for the finals.
Mahtarr Cham, a teacher at Koba Kunda LBS, said he was pleased because his student applied what he was taught prior to the competition.
“You cannot underrate anyone who becomes a champion,” he stated, but added that the preparation toward the competition was short.
He commended the organisers of the competition, adding that it would give students’ self-esteem, and also belief that there was something for them in the future.
Mamadi Wally, a teacher at SOS Basse, said the competition was not easy, and this was the first time for the students to participate in such competition.
They would help motivate, encourage and do all they could for Kaddijatou in order for her to win the national championship, he said, while encouraging all students to continue reading their books, which is the foundation for lower basic school.