A Non-Governmental Islamic Organisation, An-Nur has perfected arrangementis to hold the maiden edition of an Islamic (Arabic and English) spelling bee competition in Nigeria (Musabaqat Tahjiyat).
The convener of the spelling bee, Taiwo Abdulgafar, said the competition was aimed at helping Muslim students (male and female) to improve their spelling, vocabularies, confidence and develop correct Arabic and English usage that will help them in their daily endeavours.
According to him, the spelling bee would be strictly for primary school pupils (6-9 years), junior secondary schools (10-13 years) and senior secondary school students (14-18 years).
Abdulgafar and a co-convener Aminat Eniafe, during a courtesy visit to The Guardian said the competition was borne out of the need to impact knowledge and build confidence in the young Muslim generation in line with the global trend of 21st century.
“We are three in number, we came up with this spelling competition, when we found out that the young Muslim generation lack the confidence to face the crowd,” he said.
“The aim of the spelling competition is to encourage Muslim children, most Muslim kids are always shy. The programme will serve as a stepping-stone for them to face crowd and be proud of their religion. The continuity of this programme would also strengthen boldness in public speaking,” he said.
He noted that the Arabic was what makes the competition different from other spelling competitions in the country.” Student will be call upon to spell Arabic words.
He added that the spelling bee completion is not the only event organised by the group. “Last year, we are able to stage world hijab day at the University of Lagos (Unilag), and also in December, we organized a programme to sensitise Muslim women on how to dress with modesty having their hijab on without exposing their body”.
Abdulgafar mentioned benefits that participants stand to gain from the competition. “ It will curb the inability of Muslim kids to face the crowd and express themselves in public. Once they are able to stand on podium and spell correctly they will have the confidence needed to be a good public speaker, which is a stepping stone”.
“The contest will also showcase schools which will serve as a source of advert to parents looking for good schools that offers English and Arabic education”.
He said about 50 to 100 schools were expected to participate in the competition which will be in three categories. The competition would be stage on weekends during the school holiday in order not to clash with school activities.