Hajia Samira Bawumia, Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana has launched the 11th edition of the National Spelling Bee Competition for pupils of selected basic schools.

The impressive event which was under the theme “The relevance of the Mother Tongue in Literacy” was held at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Osu Accra last Tuesday.

The Second Lady while lauding the efforts of Young Educators, organizers of the National Spelling Bee for its role in instilling in the children reading culture also lamented that the influence of social media and its style of spelling and sentence construction was fast eroding the culture of reading among the younger generation.

‘Eleven years of improving the lives of children in reading and spelling culture and placing the name of the country at the global Scripts Spelling Bee are no mean achievement,” she remarked.

Hajia Samira who is also a reading advocate stated that notwithstanding the influence of the advent of social media, it is important to develop a lifelong reading culture so that people will be well informed.

The Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey, Zanetor Rawlings stressed the relevance of the mother tongue in the promotion of learning experiences in the life of a child.

“Learning of the local language should not be seen as a priority and mainstreamed into the school system as a side issue as is being done in schools today,” she stated.

The MP while calling on Ghanaians to learn at least a bit of other languages also called on the Ministry of Education to make Ghanaian languages an option for tertiary education adding that this is the only way of ensuring that we do not lose our identity as a people.

Speaking on the Ghana Education Policy on the use of the Mother Tongue (L1), Mrs. Margaret Okai, Ag Director for Basic Education Unit, stated that it is mandatory for teachers at the lower grades to instruct children in their mother tongue.

The Country Director of Young Educators, Mrs Eugenia Techie-Menson indicated that her organization in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has introduced the Spelling Bee Competition in Dagbani.

While paying glowing tribute to sponsors of the project, she added that at present, equal opportunities have been given to Visually Impaired students expecting the hearing impaired students to have their turn later in the year.