Malawi: Manad Holds First Ever Spelling Bee Competition for Deaf Learners

Malawi National Association for the Deaf (MANAD) on July 21, 2023, successfully conducted the first ever National Spelling Bee Competition targeting learners with hearing impairments.

Spelling Bee Competition is one of the activities MANAD is implementing under the All Children Reading (ACR) initiative through its sign language in action prize whose project is titled ‘Promoting Accessible Malawian Sign Language Books’.

The major objective of the project is to improve their literacy prowess among deaf learners in Malawi.

The first ever spelling bee competition, which took place at Embangweni in Mzimba, drew contestants from six schools, which included Mua, Maryview, Embangweni, Bandawe, Mountview and Karonga Schools for the Deaf, with each school sending three learners, translating into 18 learners who were from standards 2 to 4.

The first ever sign language competition was organized with basket funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision International, Australian Government and technical support from eKitabu and Malawi National Spelling Bee in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through the Directorate of Special Need Education.

Speaking to journalists after the competition, ACR Reading’s Promoting MSL Accessible Books Coordinator, Sekerani Kufakwina, said the competition sets an eye opener to partners and stakeholders in deaf education.

Kufakwina observed that for quite long time, deaf children were deprived of learning motivational events like spelling competition and letter writing, among others.