Zamtel has noted with great concern, the continued deterioration in spelling standards amongst students in Zambian schools over the last few decades and has attributed this trend to a number of factors, including a poor reading culture, amongst others.
As a leading telecommunications service provider, Zamtel feels to an extent, culpable as some of our products and services such as SMS, WhatsApp and other chat facilities may be contributing to this national malaise.
t is Zamtel`s considered view that this emerging culture of abbreviated misspelling is negatively impacting the quality of our graduates and should be nipped in the bud before it spirals out of control.
Therefore, Zamtel, as a responsible corporate institution, feels duty-bound to play a role in alleviating the negative national trend of declining spelling standards. It is as a result of the afore mentioned reasons that Zamtel last year introduced ZAMSPELL IT, a national Inter-School Spelling Competition, targeted at Grade 10 and 11 pupils from across the country.
The televised spelling competition is aimed at fostering a sound reading culture among pupils and serving as a catalyst to improve literacy standards in general, and good spelling in particular.
Season one of the Zamspell IT competition, which came to an end in September 2014 saw a total of 80 schools and over 320 pupils participating from all the 10 provinces of Zambia. The competition aired 40 episodes on the national broadcaster ZNBC TV1 and attracted huge interest from the viewers.
Season one of the competition was won by Amelia Sharpe of St Mary`s Secondary School in Lusaka who walked away with K20,000 cash prize, a laptop and K10,000 scholarship whilst her school was given 15 desktop computers.
The second position went to Luyando Kanyembo from Njase Secondary school in Choma who walked away with K10,000 cash, a laptop and K10,000 scholarship. Her school was given 10 desk top computers.
The third position was scooped by Idah Lungu from Mpelembe Secondary school in Kitwe who got K5,000 cash prize, a laptop and K10,000 scholarship. Her school was given 5 desktop computers.
Zamtel is committed to making the Zamspell IT competition an annual event and to this effect, preparations for season 2 of the competition are already underway and the programme will be hitting the TV screens soon. The prizes for the winning participants have also become bigger and better for season 2. Zamtel believes that in a small way, the spelling competition will go a long way in contributing to an all-important education sector.