After a successful run of the Spelling Bee Morocco in Ouarzazate and the region last year, the first ever Spelling Bee Morocco national competition was held in Rabat, Morocco on April 8-9, 2013 at the Centre des Formations et des Rencontres Nationales.
Thirty-five of the best and brightest Moroccan students from different high schools and youth centers around the country competed in the final team and solo Spelling Bee competition.
Nizar Ezroura, Youssef Semlali Yacoubi, and Ziyad El Hankouri were from the team Competitive College Bees from AMIDEAST Rabat. They won the team Spelling Bee championship while Nizar Ezroura won the solo championship.
Spelling Bee competitions were held all around the country just to select the best thirty-five participants. An estimated 6,000 plus students took part in over 200 school competitions around Morocco in February 2013, followed by 25 district championships in early March.
On March 22-24, 2013, six regional competitions were held in Agadir, Marakesh, Ouarzazate, Fez, Taza, and Oujda. The top qualifiers from the regional competitions then advanced to the national competition in Rabat.
“We want to empower Moroccan youth and show how learning can be rewarding, enjoyable, and more than just chalk and talk, tedious books and memorization. We want to motivate our students to do well in their studies in general, and particularly in English. We hope the Spelling Bee experience will be memorable and something that will inspire students in their future development,”
explained U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Jim Dana, a member of the coordinating team along with MATE officers Amal Lamhiouli and Lahcen Tighoula.
Moroccan and American organizations helped to make it reality. The Spelling Bee Morocco project is organized by MATE (Moroccan Association of Teachers of English) with the support of Peace Corps volunteers, Macmillan Education, World Connect, the Regional English Language Office of the US Embassy Rabat, the Rabat American School, the American Language Center in Rabat, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Education.