The pace for The Best School Newspaper Awards 2003 contest is picking up. Going by the numerous enquiries Star-NiE received over the week, we can expect lots of competitive entries from schools.
This is certainly good news and we at Star-NiE are looking forward to the fruits of everyone's labour and the exciting newspapers that will be produced.
Amid the excitement, the contest has generated queries from teachers who are not quite clear about the rules and structure. Some are unsure about what is meant by the minimum requirement of five entries to qualify for a class party. We hope the diagram “Mechanics of Contest” on this page will show clearly that a class party can only be won if there are at least five entries in one category.
For example, if there are only two entries from the Lower Secondary (LS) category and three entries from the Upper Secondary (US), the school cannot qualify for a class party.
However, if there are two entries from LS and five entries from US, the school will win one class party for the US category. If there are at least five entries from LS and five from US, the school will win two class parties (one for each category).
Below are more questions from teachers and our answers.
Q1: Can we use one A2 sized piece of paper (broadsheet size) instead of pasting two A3 papers together?
Q2: Can we use the computer to scan the required items found in The Star instead of cutting and pasting them?
Q3: I am the contest coordinator for a private school and we have less than five classes in each category. Going by the numbers, we do not qualify for any category, but in total, we have more than five entries. Can you make an exception?
We appreciate your students' eagerness to participate but the rules state that in order to qualify for a class party, there must be at least five entries from each category. As a compromise, we will allow your school's best entries to enter for national level judging but they will not be eligible for any class party.
Q4: Can we include stories written by ourselves?
The news stories you write must be about real happenings, experiences and people, not fiction or something you made up.
Q5: Can we write our own feature articles and columns?
Of course you can. Remember that the aim of the contest is to get you to practise your writing skills. So, apart from the required four items from The Star, we would encourage you to fill up the pages with your own news stories.
Q6: What about the Year 1 and 2 students and those who are weak in English? Can they handle it?
If the students are not very good at writing, they can write the minimum one article per page and fill up the rest of the pages with articles, the weather report, etc., from The Star. They can even design their own advertisements.
Q7: What is the meaning of “class party”? Will the winning class get vouchers or will cash be given to pay for a meal in a restaurant?
What we want is for the winning class to celebrate its victory. However, whether the “prize” is RM500 cash or food vouchers worth that amount will be announced at a later date.
Q8: Can I join as an individual since my classmates are not interested in the contest?
As the rules state clearly, participation is through schools only, so our advice is: try to persuade your friends and teacher by telling them how much fun putting together a newspaper can be.
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