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Delink volunteerism from school admissions

Published on Jun 21, 2014 6:21 AM

The unequal distribution of limited opportunities, such as entry to primary schools deemed desirable, is often effected through priority placements that are made explicit and administered by impartial institutions.

When there's a perception that the rules are, say, susceptible to abuse, not in step with the times or influenced by external bodies, these should be reviewed to check any public discontent that bubbles up.

Such a moment has clearly arrived following a ruling by the People's Association on a priority benefit for Primary 1 registration that it has deemed "relevant" to retain. The PA is now asking parents who become grassroots volunteers to serve at least two years, instead of one, to gain school preference for their children.

The question it has spawned is whether Phase 2B of the primary school registration process is consonant with larger efforts towards achieving greater social equity here.

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