Dubai: Kitsch, alyssum, and grotesqueness were just some of the big words 12-year-old Joel Jobi had to spell to clinch the top prize of The Spelling Bee Championship UAE 2018-19.
Jobi, a seventh grader at the Indian High School, recently bested students from different schools in the UAE and bagged the top prize of Dh25,000 with a trip to Washington DC.
“I prepared for it for three months. I am happy all the words I studied came through,” Jobi, who has been participating in spelling bee contests since fourth grade, told Gulf News.
The Spelling Bee Championship UAE is an important landmark in a student’s academic year. It may be a spelling competition but a student learns more than just how to spell words but also different disciplines of the arts and sciences from medicine to mathematics, physics and psychology, to history and geography.
Describing this year’s champion, Aparna Lal, Director with Think Line, one of the organisers of the competition, said: “Joel is a very gentle, very unassuming speller. Whenever he spelt a word, he was confident and would smile.”
Jobi will be flying to the US this year as part of his prize to the US championship final, an event that attracts thousands of entries from students in British, Indian, IB and American schools.
“The calibre of the students over the years is just better and better. Each year the competition becomes tougher,” Lal added.
Aditya Sridhar from Dubai College, Dubai, bagged the first runner-up title. She was also the Grade 9 winner and was awarded Dh15,000.
The Second Runner-Up was Kanhai Mehta from Gems Wellington International School, Dubai and who received Dh10,000 in prize money.