8.19.2013

Primary one registration 2015 : Changes and impact

Daddy talk

Our elder boy had just completed his admission to primary school this year. During this year admission, there were a lot of noises made regarding the criteria for primary school admission. There were instances where after Phase 2A2 ,only a handful of spaces were left for those staying around the school. It had led to a belief that unless you are connected to the school via siblings, alumni or being an ex - student, the chances of getting into a popular school will be a distant dream, even for those staying within 50 meters of the school.



I agreed that the existing system is skewed to those with affiliations to the school. It is great for those having the connections, but woe for those who had no history with the school. In a sense, this may result in a close community within the school and lead to induce elitism as opposed to diversity.

The Change
With the notion of making school more accessible to the masses, especially to those living within the vicinity, PM Lee had stated during his National Day Rally that all Primary schools are to set aside 40 spaces to students with no links.

Effectively this will benefit phase 2B and below as opposed to reduce places for Phase 1, 2A (1) and 2 A (2).
Under the existing framework, all spaces will be allocated on availability to Phase 1, 2 A(1) and 2 A(2), before they are divided equally into phase 2B and 2C. Under this scenerios, popular schools would have most of their spaces filled by phase 2 A (2), leaving crumbs to phase 2B and 2C.
Base on the ring fencing of 40 spaces, the following school may have balloting potential to phase 2 A (2) base on this year statistics
Henry Park ( 128 % oversubscribed )
Ai Tong ( 121 % oversubscribed )
Red Swastika ( 120% oversubscribed )
Nan Hua ( 115% oversubscribed )
Chij St Nicholas ( 114% oversubscribed )
( source : Kaisu Parents - Chief Kaisu)

Impact
As a result of this minor tweak, there will be impact on parents looking to enrol their children to the school of their choice.
  • Phase 2A(2) is no longer sacred. Parents without alumni links face the possibility of balloting. This may lead to a surge in school alumni going forward.
  • Parents who are ex students staying beyond 2 km may move closer to the school to facilitate entry ( this is assuming allocation to be base on distance)
  • Parent volunteers may dip with the increase chances in phase 2C.
  • The system may actually work and parents will choose the schools base on distance rather than reputation.
It is confirmed that these additional spaces will be allocated to phase 2B and phase 2C. Balloting for any phases will most likely to be base on distance and citizenship as per the current framework. This would technically free up more spaces for Singaporeans.
Bottomline, the message driven is that parents should choose schools within the vicinity. It may stop the vicious cycle of parents sending the children back to the old school,even though they may stay 20km away, just to gain entry into popular schools. It creates a sense of FairPlay albeit a limited one. At least at the end of the day, we can expect diversity in the primary school rather than one that is filled with old links.
That itself is a positive step forward as diversity generates a wider spectrum of views and changes.That would bring school forward rather than stay stagnated in its current state.
Will this change impact you in a positive or negative way?
We love to hear your thoughts on this.

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