On April 6, 2016 over 500 students, teachers, pedagogic inspectors, and other Ministry of Secondary Education officials gathered in the multipurpose hall of the Government Technical High School Bafoussam to witness the first Spelling Bee event in the West Region of Cameroon. Organized by the U.S Embassy in Yaounde, in partnership with the delegation for secondary education, and the Cameroon English Language and Literature Teachers Association (CAMELTA), the Bafoussam Spelling Bee competition brought together 18 candidates from nine public and private schools in eight divisions of the West Region. It took three hours, 11 rounds, and 58 words spelled for Wongibe Bernard Venyujika, a student of the Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Bafoussam to emerge the champion. During the final of the competition against runner up Nguimfack Njiencheu Darryl from GBHS Mbouda, Bernard Wongibe correctly spelled the winning word: “Rhapsodic.”
The U.S. Embassy through the Spelling Bee Competitions envisages to rekindle students’ interest in correct English usage and contribute in improving their spelling abilities while providing strategies to increase vocabulary, memorize words, and learn new concepts.
In his opening statement, Mr. Christopher Kwekoua, Regional Delegate for Secondary Education for the West region, expressed the gratitude of the education community to the U.S. Embassy for bringing the Spelling Bee to Bafoussam. He told the audience that this event will contribute in improving students’ performance and raise the standards of written and spoken English in the region. Speaking for the U.S. Embassy, the Deputy Consular Officer Julie Nauman declared that “Today’s event underscores the commitment of the United States of America to implement programs in partnership with the government and people of Cameroon, in order promote quality education for Cameroonian youth. With the help of communication technology, English now plays a major role in many sectors including medicine, engineering and education,” she added.
The Bafoussam event was the second Spelling Bee competition organized by the U.S. Embassy this year, and led by IRC Reference Librarian Edna Enyeji and Information Resource Center (IRC) Director Mathias Tientcheu. A similar event took place in Douala on March 16, 2016, and another one will be held in Limbe come May 4, 2016.