Besides insights on subjects such as the H1N1 virus and regional politics, the pages of a new book launched yesterday are filled with material for building general knowledge and a grasp of current affairs, as well as vocabulary building and critical thinking exercises.
Called Page 2 Primer, or P2P, the book was described by the newspaper's editor, Mr Han Fook Kwang, as an effort to showcase the outstanding work of The Straits Times' best writers.
At its launch at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre yesterday, Mr Han said he came up with the idea because 'we want to encourage students to read widely beyond their textbooks'.
'There's no better daily reading experience than reading a newspaper like The Straits Times.'
Meant for advanced English learners, P2P contains pieces penned by editors, senior journalists and foreign correspondents, along with editorial cartoons by Straits Times senior executive artist Miel and members of the art team.
The launch was part of The Straits Times Media Club Camp, a two-day event for students from secondary schools that subscribe to the newspaper.
During the camp, students visited the newsroom and tapped journalists' expertise, as well as got down to brass tacks at a press conference on climate change with MTV VJ and youth ambassador Denise Keller.
Another highlight of the camp was the award ceremony for the Straits Times National Schools Newspaper Competition, which was held two weeks ago.
Mr Han gave out prizes to winners of the fifth annual event, which required the 10 teams that made the finals to put together a four-page tabloid in 24 hours.
Raffles Institution, which had previously lost to rivals Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) and Victoria School, finally took the big prize this year.
RI bagged the top prize - the gold award of $3,000 and an internship in The Straits Times newsroom - for the quality of its reporting.
The silver, and $2,000, went to Victoria School, while CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School took the bronze and $1,000.
Straits Times associate editor Bertha Henson, a judge for the competition, said the neophyte journalists impressed her with their clean designs and restrained use of colour.
She said: 'Schools are beginning to understand that the aim of a newspaper is to be read and frills only affect a reader's ability to make sense of the articles.'
Schools interested in subscribing to the newspaper and its weekly publication for secondary schools, IN, can call Mr David Tan on 6319-1005 or e-mail email@example.com for details.