ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: Some are quieter — the girls mostly. Some are more confident — willing to banter with the enunciators — the boys mostly. Some even tell anecdotes before spelling their word.
When they know the words, one can tell – they answer quickly and without pausing. When they are unsure, each letter is a struggle. This, and more, was visible in the final round of the 7th National Spelling Bee Contest organised by Dawn in collaboration with the US State Department here on Tuesday.
After regional competitions, today was the day of national competitions where the best students from all over the country competed to win top positions. The spellers were competent, confident and showed their spelling prowess as every one of them put up a good fight.
The final winners were decided after rounds of elimination, sudden death and rapid fire. In one particular round, the spellers had to spell as many words as they could in 40 seconds. In an impressive performance, some of the spellers went as far as spelling 10 words right before they ran out of time.
In the end, three winners from each age group were chosen and awarded prizes as well as shields. The winners in the age group of 9-11 were Babar Kamal from Karachi Grammar School (Karachi), Saud Afzal from BSS (Gujrat) and Ahsan Ejaz from Roots School System (Islamabad).
In the 12-14 age group, the second runner up was Mahnoor Furqan from The City School Girls Branch (Islamabad), the runner up was Saaduz Zaman from Aitchison College Senior Branch, Lahore, and the winner was Laiba Ijaz from Roots School System DHA, Islamabad.
In the age group of 15-17 year olds, the second runner up was Saif Humayun from Aitchison College Senior Branch (Lahore), the runner up was Mohammad Ghufran Rafique from St. Patrick`s High School Boys Branch (Karachi) and the champion was Mahnoor Kashif from Convent of Jesus and Mary School (Lahore).
US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, who was the chief guest on the occasion, presented shields to the winners and congratulated them. He also expressed America`s commitment to better education in Pakistan.
The Dawn Spelling Bee first started with 60 schools but has now expanded to include 720 schools nationwide, including the smaller cities of Skardu, Hyderabad etc.
It is a forum for students of all ages to compete with each other and gain exposure to healthy competition.Dawn.