Madam Hoi, 43, had hoped that it would be second-time lucky at Kong Hwa School's Primary 1 balloting yesterday. The housewife, who gave only her surname, had together with her husband put in 100 hours as volunteers at the school. But they failed to get a spot for their six-year-old daughter in the Phase 2B balloting two weeks ago.
The story repeated itself yesterday, when the school conducted a ballot for children under Phase 2C of the registration exercise. Sixty-six children vied for 35 places at Kong Hwa and Madam Hoi's daughter was not one of the 35.
Phase 2C - the fifth of seven registration phases - is for children with no ties to the primary schools. The earlier Phase 2B is for children whose parents are school volunteers, grassroots leaders, or are members of an affiliated church or clan.
"We are very disappointed... We have lived here for more than 10 years, and the school is within walking distance," said the mother of two.
The other school within a 1km radius of her home is Geylang Methodist School, which is also oversubscribed by now. "Our daughter will have to take the school bus instead of just walk," she said.
In total, 86 schools had to conduct a ballot yesterday. They include Bishan's Catholic High School and Westwood Primary in Jurong. Parents who failed to secure a spot in Phase 2C will have to register in Phase 2C supplementary.
An IT consultant, 31, who had registered his six-year-old son at Maris Stella High in Bartley, is still looking for a school. The Seletar resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Chew, said he planned to move to Bartley. His child was left out in Phase 2C as the school conducted balloting only for residents living between 1km and 2km of the school. The father of three is now considering Cedar Primary, which still has 18 places. "We're optimistic... despite (Cedar) being more than 2km away."
Additional reporting by Amelia Teng