ANGLO-CHINESE Junior College (ACJC) survived two sabotage attempts to emerge the winner of the third round of The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz 2015 yesterday.
Its team of three boys beat the two teams from host River Valley High School and a team from National Junior College to win $600 in vouchers and bragging rights.
The trio described their discreet teamwork during the quiz as "telepathy", and earned themselves a round of laughs. Marcus Tan, 16, attributed the win to "consistent reading (of the news) and hard work".
He and his teammates, Gregory Lee, 17, and Poh Song Yang, 18, each specialised in financial, political and entertainment news respectively, based on personal preference.
They also had a pre-planned strategy that involved "sabotaging the second highest team unless we were on top", Gregory said. As part of the rules, teams can be sabotaged to answer questions.
Yesterday's round of the The Big Quiz, as it is nicknamed, was attended by about 200 students and teachers. The quiz is sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation.
Before the quiz, guest speaker and The Straits Times deputy editor Alan John discussed what was worth celebrating about Singapore as the nation turns 50 years old this year.
He then answered students' questions, covering topics from Singapore's national identity to xenophobia and the local media.
Mr John playfully made sure that each student stated one thing about Singapore they wanted to celebrate before they posed their questions.
"When I asked them what they were celebrating, they had such good answers... the boy from Indonesia - he's been here three months and he likes the libraries, the facilities, the public transport. So I thought, listening to these guys, there's plenty to celebrate in SG50," he said.
Students appreciated the candid and humorous discussion.
"I liked how he was speaking in a very open way, such as giving his personal anecdotes, like the one where he and his wife were the only Indians in a restaurant," said Grace Lee Ying Hui, 17, a first-year junior college student from River Valley High School.
Ms Chitra Jenardhanan, River Valley High School's Dean of Partnerships and Talent Development, applauded the quiz, despite the school's teams eventually losing after a strong start.
"We chose to take part because it's a good experience. The process of preparing is very rewarding, because the students get to read up on a wide variety of matters that they may not otherwise take the time to find out about.
"What is especially important is the whole range of issues and topics it exposes the students to," she said.
Additional reporting by Nurul Iiman Said and Liu Fangzhou
For more information, go to www.straitstimes.com/thebigquiz