Pioneer JC wins current affairs quiz

Pioneer JC Team 1's (from left) Elango Praveen, Joshua Goh and Jerald Ang celebrating after getting the correct answer in the final stretch of the ST-MOE National Current Affairs Quiz yesterday.
Pioneer JC Team 1's (from left) Elango Praveen, Joshua Goh and Jerald Ang celebrating after getting the correct answer in the final stretch of the ST-MOE National Current Affairs Quiz yesterday.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Team gets season's highest score with bright strategy, confident answers at ST-MOE event

Masterful strategy and a keen nose for current affairs gave Pioneer Junior College (PJC) the gold at the sixth and final instalment of The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz.

It not only won the round, but was also the highest scoring team of the season, with 220 points.

For one thing, Joshua Goh Zemin, 17, from PJC Team 1, confidently rattled off strings of correct answers.

In his introduction, he said: "We are going to win this one!"

For another, he and teammates Elango Praveen and Ang Zhao Yan Jerald, both 17, were in sync with their sister team, PJC Team 2.

Isaiah Poon, 17, from Team 2 cracked the audience up with his introductory quip: "We are going to help them (Team 1) win this one."

PJC Team 2 at one point "sabotaged" it - a game play where one's question is directed to another team - because it knew the other team would know the answer.

When the first team got it right, both teams earned the points.

The opposing teams from Jurong Junior College (JJC) and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) made some bold moves towards the end.

JJC wagered to double its points on a 30-point question and answered it correctly, propelling it to second place with 190 points, achieving this despite one of its players, Matthew Yeo, 16, suddenly getting a nosebleed on stage.

HCI, which initially trailed PJC Team 1 by 60 points, attempted the same strategy. But the team gave the wrong answer and HCI ended in the last spot, with 100 points. PJC Team 2 was third with 140 points.

Ms Sarizah Kiman, 34, head of department for English at PJC, the host of yesterday's event, said the event was "nail-biting" and "all the four teams had great strategies".

Preceding the quiz, Deputy Life Editor and seasoned arts journalist Clarissa Oongave an overview of Singapore's arts scene.

She noted that while censorship and regulation of the arts had been relaxed over the years, they were still more stringent here than in cities such as Hong Kong and London.

First-year PJC student Kartik Nistala, 16, asked if those who want to pursue the arts should go overseas.

Said Ms Oon: "I would encourage you to stay in Singapore. You cannot make a difference except in your own country... stay in Singapore, continue struggling, continue making a difference and reaching out to the world from Singapore."

The event is jointly organised by The Straits Times and MOE. Singapore Press Holdings Foundation is the presenting sponsor.

•Additional reporting by Serene Luo, Ang Yiying and Nur Syahiidah Zainal

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2015, with the headline 'Pioneer JC wins current affairs quiz'. Print Edition | Subscribe