Press Releases

August 27, 2012

Singapore Tops the 9th International Geography Olympiad in Germany

The Ministry of Education (MOE) congratulates the Singapore team for their stellar performance at the 9th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Cologne, Germany, from 21 to 26 August 2012.

The Singapore team obtained two Gold and two Silver medals. This placed Singapore first in a field of 124 students from 32 countries, maintaining the country’s performance in the 8th iGeo in 2010. This is the second time Singapore is taking part in the competition.

The Gold medalists are Mr Chua De Xun Samuel and Mr Tan Wei Jie Brendan from Raffles Institution (Junior College). Mr Samuel Chua was also the top Gold medalist in the 9th iGeo. The Silver medalists are Mr Wesley Chioh from Raffles Institution (Junior College) and Mr Chee You Jin Eugene from Hwa Chong Institution (College).

The Singapore delegation was led by Mr William Yeo and Miss Jasmine Li, Curriculum Planning Officers from MOE.

A Joint Effort

Our students’ participation in the International Geography Olympiad is a joint effort between MOE and the following organisations:

  • Department of Geography, National University of Singapore;
  • Geography Teachers’ Association, Singapore; and
  • National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.

Background on iGeo and team selection process

The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) brings together the best and brightest 16 to 19 year old students from around the world, challenging and stimulating their minds in the spirit of competition. This annual competition1 is organised under the auspices of the International Geographical Union, and consists of written, multimedia and fieldwork tests. Students are expected to have good knowledge of topics ranging from physical to human geography. The teams are also required to apply their geographical knowledge and skills in new and unfamiliar contexts such as carrying out fieldwork on land use in Rheinau Harbour and waterfront development in the Deutz riverfront in Cologne, Germany.

iGeo is a global platform to stretch some of our most able students in Geography. By pitting their skills and knowledge against international peers, our students will gain an enriching learning experience and be motivated to strive for excellence in the international arena. MOE supports the aims of the iGeo which includes promoting active interest in geographical and environmental studies in young people. Geography offers a way of understanding our world through the study of complex global issues such as population change, resource scarcity and global warming. Students acquire global perspectives and critical thinking skills as they learn about the interconnectedness and interdependence of people, places, and responses to environmental challenges facing us today.

Members of the Singapore team were selected from among the most outstanding participants at the National University of Singapore Geography Challenge in 2011 and from subsequent selection tests through the National Geography Talent Development Programme (TDP). The TDP is designed to nurture students’ passion in and deepen their knowledge and skills of the subject. The TDP is supported by the above-mentioned organisations and their representatives.


  1. The iGeo was a biennial competition but will be an annual competition as of 2012..