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Students have their say in 'The Big Quiz'

SINGAPORE, 24 April 2012 - Pre-university (Pre-U) students will have a say in shaping the issues and questions in an upcoming current affairs quiz challenge and news outreach programme. The aim is to develop critical and communicative skills and deepen their knowledge of current affairs.

The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz is open to all Pre-U 1 and Year 5 students of 23 schools, including all junior colleges, Millennia Institute, ACS (Independent), School of the Arts, and NUS High School of Mathematics and Science.

The Quiz will kick off with a current affairs news outreach programme which comprises a weekly Primer published in the Friday edition of The Straits Times. These Friday Primers will be written by The Straits Times’ journalists covering the beats. They will cover a wide range of topics of interest and relevance to students including education, housing, the effects of globalisation, and the value of sportsmanship. The writer will explain why the issue is being covered, why it is of national interest, elaborate on the policy, and provide different perspectives on the subject. The Primer will also set the issue or policy in context and compare it with how other countries address it.

The articles will be published in a 12-week period leading up to the Quiz, from April to August excluding the school holidays in June and the National Day school holiday. The first primer will be published this Friday, April 27.

Students in Pre-U 1 and Year 5 will be provided a copy of The Straits Times newspaper every Friday for discussion of the topics during General Paper (GP) lessons. The Ministry of Education (MOE) will develop accompanying resources for teachers to use in their facilitation of classroom discussions. There will also be other outreach and fringe activities, including six talks by The Straits Times journalists at selected participating schools.

The Quiz is organised by The Straits Times in partnership with the Ministry of Education, and is the latest in several initiatives by The Straits Times to reach out to young Singaporeans as part of its effort to promote the newspaper reading habit and motivate them to use the newspaper as a resource tool to improve their current affairs knowledge on current local and global events.The questions will be based on content from The Straits Times over the past year.

Said Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times: "Our world seems to be moving faster, with major developments that impact all our lives. Our young need to understand how these will affect them, and newspapers can help them make sense of these developments. The Big Quiz is good way to help them stay abreast of the rapid changes taking place around them."

Mrs Chua Yen Ching, Director of the Curriculum Planning and Development Division in MOE, added: "The news outreach programme enables students to see that issues discussed in the GP classroom could achieve both academic objectives and real world significance. Students will gain more knowledge and understanding of current affairs to inform their views when discussing key issues in GP. As students read the news more widely, they become increasingly aware of their intricacy and their diverse contexts, and develop civic literacy and global awareness.”

The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation is the presenting sponsor of the quiz contest.

The Quiz will start with preliminary rounds on July 25, and will culminate in the finals on August 24, which will also include audience participation for student supporters.

The top winning team will get a challenge trophy and $5,000 cash prize, the second prize winner will take home $3,000 cash prize and the third prize winner, $1,000 cash prize. The fourth place will receive $500. Education Minister Heng Swee Keat will present the prizes to the winners at the finals.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Ms Serene Goh

Editor, IN and Little Red Dot
The Straits Times
DID: 6319 5321

Ms Ang Yiying
Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 6117
HP: 9837 9035

Mr Gary Yeo
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1225


Ms Syahdina Hamzah
Corporate Communications Executive
Ministry of Education
DID: 6879 7604

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore.

The Straits Times also has an online presence at The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service RazorTV.

For more information, visit

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. On an average day, – 2.92 million individuals or 74 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne,, ST701, Stomp and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties. 

About the Ministry of Education

The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) formulates and implements education policies and programmes in consultation with its stakeholders. These policies and programmes aim to help all students discover their talents, realise their potential, and develop a passion for learning that lasts through life. MOE also oversees the development and management of the Government and Government-aided primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges. Please visit for more information.