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Raffles Institution is first Big Quiz champion

SINGAPORE, 24 August 2012 Raffles Institution clinched the championship of the inaugural The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz contest at the Raffles City Convention Centre today. 

The victorious team, comprising Loo Tien Pan, Chan Kai Yan and Ryan Quek, and reserve member Teo Hoong Chen, all 17, walked off with a trophy and a $5,000 cash prize, to cheers from their school supporters. They beat the teams from Hwa Chong Institution, River Valley High School and Anglo-Chinese Junior College in the decisive battle for The Big Quiz championship title. The first runner-up team from Hwa Chong Institution, who lost narrowly by a single point, won $3,000, and the other two teams received $1,000 and $500 respectively.

In the finals, each of the four teams had to fight their way up a game stairway comprising 20 steps, with the questions increasing in difficulty. Quiz questions were posed to the teams in a round-robin segment, and then a buzz-in segment. For every correct answer, teams moved up one step. They also unlocked special game cards as they proceeded up their game stairway.

The four teams had battled three earlier rounds - the preliminary on 25 July, quarter-finals on 1 August and semi-finals on 22 August - to get a place in today's finals.

The exciting final showdown was graced by Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat, who gave out the trophies to the winning teams.

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

Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times, said in his address to the students: “As editor of The Straits Times, I am glad to see this Big Quiz bring to the fore the relevance of the newspaper to your generation, the Facebook generation. 

"Over the past months, you would have read our primer series in the Opinion pages, and met some of our correspondents and editors of The Straits Times. Through their anecdotes, you heard frank views on various topics, and got a glimpse into why we all believe we must engage our community on issues that matter.”

All quiz questions were based on news reports published in The Straits Times over the past year.

About the Big Quiz

Co-organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the current affairs quiz started with a news outreach programme on 27 April to help develop students’ critical and communicative skills and deepen their knowledge of current affairs.

The outreach programme covered 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, discussed the significance of the issues covered, elaborated on policies, and provided different perspectives on the subjects. 

The 13 primers, which ran over 12 weeks, continued through to 17 August.

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

As part of the engagement with students during the outreach segment, 12 journalists from The Straits Times gave talks at six schools in May and July. These talks covered a range of 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 (

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 
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. In July (2012), The RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, which attracted 1,200 primary-school contestants here, has been presented a jury commendation in the World Young Reader Prize (Brand category) 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

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.