News » English Olympiad 2013

 Media Release : English Olympiad 2013

 The annual English competition known as the De Beers English Olympiad this year attracted more than 7800 entries from high schools throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. This prestigious competition is organised jointly by the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education (SACEE). It started in 1976 and has been sponsored by De Beers since 1985.

On 5 March this year, entrants from Grades 10 to 12, will write a three-hour examination. This year’s theme is “Whose Truth is it anyway?” The examination anthology, In Camera” (compiled by the South African Council of English Education) comprises of a variety of thought-provoking texts relevant to the issue of official secrecy and who should control information.

This year has seen a gratifying  increase in the number of English First Additional Language (FAL) candidates as part of the English Development Initiative (EDI). “The increase in the numbers of First Additional Language students now entering the competition through the EDI is most heartening”, said Louisa Clayton, Executive Director of the Grahamstown Foundation. In 2011, 128 EDI candidates entered; in 2012 the number more than doubled to 315; this year there have been 440 entrants from 11 schools. The total number of FAL entrants is 959 from 76 schools.

The EDI programme is a pilot project that adds a vital component of the Olympiad and drives the process of the inclusion of FAL learners in the Olympiad. The increased numbers of FAL learners also provides the opportunity for learners to test themselves in new environments.

Prizes awarded against the rank order are as follows:

  1. The top three candidates are treated to a literary tour of the United Kingdom in December 2013.
  2. The top 15 candidates are invited to attend the National Schools Festival in Grahamstown free of charge.
  3. Learners who are ranked between the fourth and 20th positions will receive cash prizes, books or book vouchers.
  4. The Top 50 candidates receive free-tuition scholarships for their first year of study at Rhodes University immediately upon successful completion of the matriculation examinations and subject to the university’s entry requirements.
  5. All candidates who complete the paper will receive certificates indicating a classified evaluation.
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