Media Release: Excited learners look to future scholarship

Posted by David Jenkins

Monash South Africa Hosts 27 Bright Young Minds and National Spelling Bee Finalists

October, 2015 – Last week leading higher education campus, Monash South Africa (MSA) hosted 27 of the country’s brightest young minds, the recently named finalists in the 2015 National Spelling Bee competition, at their Ruimsig campus. Three primary school winners from each of the provinces were invited to MSA for an inside view of the state of the art campus, showcasing what can be achieved should they continue striving for excellence in the classroom. In addition MSA, as part of its ongoing efforts to empower children through education, sponsors an academic scholarship for the winners of both the national and Gauteng provincial Spell It Spelling Bees.

Nurturing Future Academics

During their visit to the campus, MSA CEO, Esther Benjamin called upon the finalists to take their future under careful consideration: “You may be young today, but it’s important to remember that it is never too early to start thinking about your higher education. I encourage you to think about what you need to be doing today to maintain top academic performance, to ensure your future at a top tertiary institution such as Monash South Africa.”

During the campus tour the 27 finalists and eventual winner, Erin Sloane from the Western Cape, were excited by the opportunity to secure a scholarship at such a young age. Many of the finalists have a very clear idea of the path they want to follow when they finish their schooling. Malaka Mapheto of Dikolobe Primary School in Limpopo, wants to be a doctor one day so that he can help people and he says, “I am very excited to be here and I hope to be a student at Monash South Africa when I finish school.”

Spelling Excellence in Young Learners 

Since 2010, the Spell It initiative in partnership with the National Department of Education and Nedbank has impacted the lives of over 150 000 primary school learners across South Africa by providing them with the opportunity to achieve an international level of spelling competency. The national and provincial Spelling Bee competitions form an important part of this process, and to date have assisted in the improvement of the spelling ability of learners by an average of 300%. The national contest features district, provincial and national spelling competitions for grade 6 learners from schools across the country.

Sponsoring Potential 

“Together with the Department of Basic Education and other partners, we are exceptionally proud to be a sponsor of the National Spelling Bee competition. Our collaboration with Spell It over the years has provided sponsorship for 14 learners to attend Monash South Africa and we are pleased to continue this support for promising young leaders who are encouraged to meet their full potential through this programme” concluded Benjamin.

A previous recipient of the bursary is Grade 6 pupil of Gauteng’s Theo Wassenaar Primary School and winner of the provincial Spelling Bee, Jethro Kustner. As the child of a single parent family, a scholarship to study further will go a long way towards helping him achieve his dream of becoming a chemical engineer. By spelling the word, “vengeance” correctly in the provincial final, Jethro’s academic future has been secured.

The Power of Education 

Also invited to address the Spelling Bee finalists was MSA student and Laureate “Here for Good” ambassador Lebo Sekhotla, who was selected as an ambassador from over a million students from across the globe for her youth empowerment work. Her difficult childhood allowed her to advise learners on achieving despite trying circumstances: “You have the power to reach your full potential through education. It is your responsibility to set your problems aside and strive for excellence. This can be achieved by aligning yourself with excellent people.” As a shining example of the power of education and a fellow recipient of a bursary for her tertiary studies it seems that this is sound advice indeed for the 27 bright young minds who participated in the National Spelling Bee this past weekend.

About Monash South Africa:

The impressive, state of the art Monash South Africa (MSA) campus in Johannesburg is dedicated to support South Africa and the continent to meet its diverse economic and educational needs by producing graduates who are internationally recognised. MSA has four schools: Business and Economics, Health Sciences, Information Technology and Social Science and a one-year pathway programme into the undergraduate degrees, the Higher Certificate in Higher Education Studies. MSA became the first institution in Sub-Saharan Africa to join the Laureate International Universities network in 2013, which has a presence in 28 countries, serving over 1,000,000 students globally across 80 institutions and online. To learn more, visit

About Laureate Education, Inc:

Laureate Education is the world’s leading higher education provider. Laureate’s more than 80 universities educate over 1,000,000 students in 28 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Laureate’s universities offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in fields such as architecture, business, engineering, hospitality management, law and medicine. Many Laureate institutions are ranked among the top providers of higher education in their respective regions, countries and fields, and have received international recognition for their academic quality. To learn more, visit

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