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The Big Quiz kicks off with 23 pre-university teams

SINGAPORE, 23 July 2012 - Twenty-three teams of pre-university students, each representing a differentinstitution, will participate in a qualifying round at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre on July 25 for a spot in The Straits Times - Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz – or The Big Quiz in short.

The teams taking part in this preliminary round of The Big Quiz comprise Pre-University 1 (Pre-U 1) and Year 5 students from all junior colleges, Millennia Institute, Anglo Chinese School (Independent), School of the Arts, and the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. 

The three-member teams will answer a paper quiz of 50 questions within 30 minutes at the SPH News Centre auditorium. In this round, teams will be ranked by the number of correct answers they score and the time they take to finish the quiz. The top 18 teams will proceed to the quarter-final round on August 1. 

Following the quarter-final round, the top six teams will proceed to the semi-final round on August 22. The top four teams from the semi-final round will battle it out for the championship title on August 24. These three rounds will adopt the format of a game show. Quiz questions are based on news reports published in The Straits Times over the past year.

Co-organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the current affairs quiz has been preceded by a news outreach programme which aims to develop students’ critical and communicative skills and deepen their knowledge of current affairs.

Said Ms Serene Goh, editor of The Straits Times’ Schools programme, who helms the organising committee of the quiz: "Straits Times' journalists have been working with MOE to come up with pretty diverse - and tough - questions. The aim is to test not only the students' breadth of knowledge, but the depth too. Understanding the heart of an issue will be the key to winning it." 

Mrs Chua Yen Ching, Director of the Curriculum Planning and Development Division in MOE, added: “The Big Quiz will enthuse students to explore and think through issues of national and global significance. We hope students will find the quiz both engaging and meaningful.”

The news outreach programme started on April 27, with a weekly primer published in the Friday edition of The Straits Times. These primers, written by The Straits Times’ journalists covering beats such as education, housing, economics and sports, discuss the significance of the issues covered, elaborate on policies, and provide different perspectives on the subjects. 

The 13 primers, which run over 12 weeks, will continue through to August 17.

Every Pre-U 1 and Year 5 student receives a copy of The Straits Times on the days the Primers are published. The newspapers are used in class discussions of the topics during General Paper (GP) lessons. MOE has also developed accompanying resources to the primers for GP teachers and students to use for discussion and further reading.

As part of the news outreach programme and to engage students further, 12 journalists from The Straits Times gave talks at six schools in May and July. These talks covered a range of different topics, from the value of a university degree to censorship in arts and the media. All talks were filmed and uploaded to The Straits Times’ multimedia news portal, RazorTV (, as well as The Big Quiz microsite (

The top team of The Big Quiz will get a challenge trophy and a $5,000 cash prize, the second prize winner will take home a $3,000 cash prize and the third prize winner, a $1,000 cash prize. The fourth team in the final round will receive a $500 cash prize. 

Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat will present the prizes to the winners at the finals on August 24. 

The presenting spo
nsor of the Big Quiz is the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation. 

For more information on the quiz, please go to

Media Invitation

We are inviting you and your photographer / videographer to cover the preliminary round of the The Big Quiz.

Venue: SPH News Centre Auditorium
Date: 25 July, Wed
Time: 2.30pm

To RSVP, please contact Mr Gary Yeo at or 6319 1225 latest by 24 July, Tuesday, 5pm.

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

For more information, please contact:

Ms Shahrena Hassan
Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5097

Mr Khalid Khamis

Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5669

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. 

Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond. 

The Straits Times' key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective. 

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. This year (2010), IN won the World Young Reader prize for the Newspapers In Education category. The prize was awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

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 The Straits Times RazorTV.

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. For more information, please visit

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.