Hlulani Victoria Baloyi (13) of Malamulele Section C who is a progressive learner at Magangeni Primary School is expected to represent South Africa in Kenya after winning the National Mzansi Spelling Bee in November 2017. The African spelling bee competitions will take place in Kenya on the 20th November 2018. “I feel happy and honoured to be the one representing South Africa at the continental competitions. I am also proud of myself for the effort that I gave, and I also thank my teachers for helping me, the principal and my family for rallying behind me” said Hlulani
The journey begun somewhere in July 2017 when Magangeni Primary School was amongst South African schools which entered Mzansi Spelling Bee competitions . The preliminary rounds of the competitions proceeded towards the end of 2017 whereby Baloyi emerged victorious like her name in the finals held at Louistrichardt in November 2017. She was awarded with certificate and R10 000.00 in cash.
Baloyi did not travel this journey alone but she was with her coaches, Mrs. Hlungwani N.M, Ms. Bekwa M.F.P and Mr. Mabasa M who coached her throughout the competitions. This program was not part of the school curriculum but some educators volunteered to help their learners
“I volunteered myself to be part of the spelling bee program because I saw a lot of black children, especially around this side of Limpopo, who cannot spell and as a result they cannot read and they do not make it in the classroom, so I wanted to help them bring up their English so that they can make it in life” explained Bekwa M.F.P.
The Principal of Magangeni Primary School, Mr. Mashaba M.L., was so delighted and emotional about this issue: “This is a milestone in the history of school. The school has now been upgraded in terms of academic achievement, exposure, etc. It is also encouraging our learners to go an extra mile in activities which are geared towards their academic achievement. We look forward to seeing a good send off function as she will be representing South Africa.”
Her coaches said that it was not easy for them as this required their afterhour’s time because they stayed behind after school in order to train their participants how to spell simple and difficult words. “Well, although it was not easy but I managed to help them because of the passion and the love I have for the learners . Mzansi spelling bee promotes back to basic where learners are taught phonics in order to enable them to read; I was also using the principle of not giving up on children, so I was very patient with them such that I even spent extra time with them.” Hlongwani N.M said
Story by: Xirimela crew