A protest lodged three days after the zonal round last Saturday of The Big Spell has nonetheless been upheld, in the interests of fairness to the participants.
The result: Two joint champions have been declared in the South zone.
Both Eashaa Pillai, eight, from Raffles Girls' Primary School and Sam Shreyas Joseph, 10, from St Joseph's Institution Junior, will enter the grand final of the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship on April 30.
Eashaa was initially declared champion, with Sam in second place. However, an error in judging was discovered, so after consultation with officials, the organisers decided to declare Sam a joint champion .
Both Eashaa and Sam will receive the top zonal prize of $500 and spots in the grand final. In all, 21 pupils will vie for the honour of being Singapore's top pupil speller in the grand final.
RHB Banking Group and The Straits Times are co-organisers of the event in partnership with the Ministry of Education. The event is supported by Nanyang Polytechnic and the National Library Board.