Abdulazeez Abdulrahman of Oriwu Model College, Ikorodu has emerged as the winner of the 20th edition of the Lagos State Spelling Bee competition at the grand finale held on Thursday at Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, after a tense final competition.
The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola in his goodwill address expressed satisfaction with the level of competition noting that the competition is a confidence booster that has helped the youth to showcase their potential.
The Head of Service who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Mr Samson Ajibade lauded the success of the competition as past winners are now leaders in their chosen careers. While extolling the efforts of the winners, as well as all participants in the annual competition, the Lagos State Head of Service encouraged the students not to rest on their oars but strive to achieve greater heights. He however reiterated the continuous support of the State Government through the Office of the Education Quality Assurance towards the success of the future competition.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, who was elated with the level of competition among the participants and winners, commended the brilliant performance of all participating students and schools.
She added that the spelling bee competition has been a great motivator amongst learners in the State noting that the high level of performance from the students underscores the fact that the State Government is committed to the delivery of quality education geared towards improving teaching and learning in Lagos public schools.
Earlier, the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, expressed appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for keeping faith in the competition. She opined that this year’s competition was aimed at bringing out the best in participants and also to justify the State Government’s efforts in ensuring that students achieve nurtured dreams while promoting excellence in the educational sector.
The Director-General noted that the two-day competition witnessed students from 57 primary and secondary schools contending for cash prizes and scholarship awards. She stated further that the Office of Education Quality Assurance will continue to drive measures to improve the standards and academic excellence in both private and public schools in line with global best practices.
Mrs Seriki-Ayeni acknowledged the partnership of the various private sectors towards the successful hosting of the competition while imploring participants to see the competition as a value-adding contest, work hard and make the best of the opportunity that will make their academic life more meaningful.
“We acknowledge the partnership of the private sector towards the successful hosting of Spelling Bee competitions, which includes, Seven-Up Bottling Company, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation (KAAF) for partnering with the Lagos State Government to host the 20th edition of the event”.
Apart from having the opportunity of being the Lagos One Day Governor, Master Abdulazeez was presented with a cash gift of N300, 000, a trip to Finland and a scholarship to any public university in the State while the first runner up, Master Oki Coordinator of Sito-Gbethrome Senior Secondary School, Badagry, got the sum of N200, 000 and the second runner up, Miss Alimot Saheed from Jubilee Model Senior Secondary School, Coker Aguda received a cash gift of N150,000.
In the Primary School category, Sofia Muhammed, of Agbowa Baptist Primary School, emerged as the overall winner while Khalid Olayide of Ikosi Primary school and Daniel Olanrewaju of Keke Primary School emerged as 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively. They were presented with cash gifts to celebrate their academic excellence.
The Spelling Bee project was initiated in 2001 by the former First Lady of Lagos State, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, through the New Era Foundation, to promote academic excellence, good reading habits, healthy academic rivalry, and public speaking proficiency amongst public schools students in the state.