Guyana, Suriname face-off in first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee


Guyana and Suriname will face off in the first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee competition that gets underway on Monday June 27 from 10.00 am in the auditorium of NCERD, Battery Road, Kingston.  The first round will be preceded by a brief Opening Ceremony.

 This event is made possible through a collaboration among the Ministry of Public Telecommunications (which up to 30 June 2016 holds responsibility for Tourism), the Ministry of Education and the ‘Learning for a Better Future Foundation’ of Suriname.  Both countries will field three candidates in each of three age categories – 10-11; 12-13 and 14-15. 

The Ministry of Education selected the Guyana team on the basis of a recent national Spelling Bee elimination contest.  The students representing Guyana were drawn from schools in Regions 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8 and were selected on the basis of their performance in that national Spelling Bee contest.  The Surinamese team comprises their national Spelling Bee champions, a tried and tested group attending the Alpha Max Academy.  

Twenty (20) persons (students, teachers and parents) from the neighbouring Republic of Suriname are expected to be in Guyana for the event.  

The organizing committees in both countries even derived a name and a theme for the initiative  –  GUIANAME.   This term basically means a shared space that transcends borders.  The overall objective is to have residents of the 3 Guianas, including French Guiana, engage in fruitful cultural, economic and other exchanges. The Spelling Bee, the trans-Amazonica rally in July, the Guyana Coconut Festival in October, and other trans-border tourism initiatives are all sequences that give meaning to the concept GUIANAME. 

Although Dutch is the official language of Suriname, the Spelling Bee words will all be in English, and will relate to concepts, themes, names and places that should be familiar to students living in both countries.  

The Spelling Bee is the most recent in a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing travel across the borders in the Guianas.  This particular event is aimed at cementing educational bonds and enhancing knowledge of the space in the Guianas shared by our two countries.