The event took place at IIE’s Varsity College Durban North where 16 winning teams from the local zone competitions competed against one another for the chance to participate in the national finals in Joburg.
“The biggest problem from school level to university is that pupils do not read. It is a nice initiative; we need more of it in South Africa,” said Rajesh Chandarman, senior deputy principal of the IIE’s Varsity College.
Daily News assistant editor Zoubair Ayoob echoed Chandarman’s sentiments. “The aim was to get you to read and be interested in the news with the hope that your love for news and reading lives beyond the competition,” he said.
The competition made some pupils anxious.
“I am nervous and excited,” said Saalihah Bassa of Crescent Girls’ High School ahead of the competition.
Aaliyah Lockhat, also of Crescent High, said: “We are hoping we can get through to the next round.”
Debbie Vermeulen, a teacher from Maris Stella School, said: “The girls are excited but quite nervous. I like to see young people so engaged in the news. They look to see what is going on in the world, which is what we wanted.”
Pupils reflected on what they enjoyed most about participating.
“My favourite part is how the competition broadened my perception of how we should look at our country,” said Aphile Shabalala, of Kloof High School.
Another spoke of how the competition afforded her more exposure to the world.
“I enjoyed getting to read the newspaper and learning new things. I realised I live in a bubble,” said Isabella Goosen of Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School.
The quiz ended with Crescent Girls’ High School and Seatides Combined School competing in back-to-back tie-breaking rounds to find the runners-up. Seatides prevailed after the second round. Eden College won first place.
“Feels good to have all the hard work pay off,” said Eden College pupil Aaron Naidu.
Zahra Cassim of Wembley College said: “The best part of the competition was just having fun.”
Eden College and Seatides will represent KZN and Daily News at the national finals on September 27.