July 2, 2021

Spelling Bee Contest: A Pointless Exercise

Posted in eMail News at 12:18 pm by వసుంధర

Professor B. R. Sant is an eminent scientist, who is much concerned on excellence for the enthusiasts. our readers knew him through his book on ‘Towards achieving excellence in Teaching and Learning’. Now, in late eighties, his concern for the same is not slackening. His reaction on the results of the recent spelling bee contest is presented here:

Dear All:

A slightly controversial subject, Thought it may interest you, your family, and your friends.  Do try to give a feedback 

 U.S. Spelling Bee Contest  Does it  help NRI children?

The year-after-year U.S. Spelling Bee Contest (The Hans India,  June 30, 2021) reminds me of Agatha Christie late 1950s  film “Witness for the prosecution” with famous Sir Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich as main casts. A person, a young man, gets close to a rather old but rich widow and convinces her about some technology-breakthrough research that he is doing for which he needs lot of money.  The widow is much enamoured  and she even writes a major part of her ‘will’ in favour of the young man.  Later, the lady is murdered and the young man is a natural suspect,.  However, the lawyer feels his client is innocent.  As the trial proceeds, the question came about the young man’s  important invention.  It was around  a  unique technology to separate yellow from the white of an egg.  The trial and arguments were going on and on, till the  Judge asked:  Was it  really “necessary”  to separate  yellow and the white of an egg? No answer was forthcoming and the case fell  through.  The question therefore arises:  Is an expertise in knowing  spellings of all the words necessary, especially words of foreign origin, rare words?  We have dictionaries, google searches.   Upto some level of school/college, it is alright.  Beyond that it is “huge” stress on children who many a times are virtually forced to enter spellation contests. Health in any game, sports, or academic exercises is the most important.  Practicing spellation is highly strenuous and it does not help enhancing IQ either. thehansreader@gmail.com Some of the readers may be remembering a detailed news-report  a few years ago  that appeared about a USA-based  young husband-wife  literally forcing their 11 year old son to compete in spellation when  the boy was begging he is not interested’  he would rather like to study and learn many other subjects of his interest.  Parents did not listen.  The child broke down on the test date and was later under psychiatric treatment for 5 years.  We do not know  how many such cases are there in USA among NRI children.  No wonder native Americans dont care for trivial contests.  whereas  we feel proud about our children.  All I am trying to say is parents must not force on  children their likes and dislikes.    

Professor B. R. Sant
Retired CSIR Scientist
Block B,   Flat  No. 111,  Saket Pranaam
Kapra,  Hyderabad   500103
Cell 87901 8233

 [PUBLISHED AS IT IS IN THE HANS INDIA, HYDERABAD,  1ST JULY 2021;  Regret inability to make a scan copy] 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: