Peace Corp volunteers throughout Efate conducted a half-day Spelling Bee for six primary schools at the PMC Owen Hall yesterday.

Students from Ekonak Primary School (in Epau), Mamau School (Teouma Bush), Eles Centre School (Nguna), Malatia Primary School (Saama/Siviri), Tangovwia Primary (Pele) and Taitiki Primary School (Moso) took part in the competition under the theme ‘Bee The Change’.

Peace Corps Volunteer Corley Hicks said they are super excited with the occasion because it is the first Spelling Bee in Vanuatu where students from across Efate and the offshore islands, mostly North Efate competed with 36 students who are already finalists in their schools.

Each school brought in their top six students to compete for a scholarship yesterday.

Ms Corley said they realized that children are motivated by competitions so they looked for opportunities, especially literacy opportunities. 

She said spelling bees are popular in America and it is important to them. Ms Corley said they have involved SHEFA Education and the Meteorology Department in order to create a theme which relates to climate change, because they see climate change issues are really affecting Vanuatu in a big way today.

The spelling bee also creates opportunities for students to compete in a way that is fun.

She acknowledged everyone who turned up to witness the successfully staged event.

The positive turnout indicated that people are interested in supporting children’s education. 

Ms Corley said they are planning to host another event again next year in SHEFA Province and will hopefully venture out to other provinces as well.

Peace Corps’ Programming and specialists for literacy projects, Len Tambe, said this event is a project which they are trying to pilot within their programs. 

He said the competition relied mostly on climate change vocabularies which students undertook to address the evident impacts it is doing globally, including Vanuatu. 

The day also saw climate change specialists providing awareness to the students in relation to the impacts and challenges caused by the global issue.

Mr Tambe said the competition also addresses climate change impacts in communities and literacy development for the students. 

He acknowledged the SHEFA Education and Ministry of Education for their support towards the event.

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