Allocate children to nearest school

Every year during the primary school registration process, the same debate on school branding and admission priority pops up.

In countries like Germany, children go to the school nearest their home.

Perhaps the Education Ministry should do the same here and allocate children to primary schools based on where they live.

Should parents wish to opt out from the allocated school, they can apply to do so, based on availability, and following the priority set out in the current phases 2A and B.

Naysayers may argue that the "branded schools" are located only within certain areas, and this change benefits only that demographic.

However, I would ask them to take a step back and examine if we are continuing a self-inflicted bias.

I, too, was once of the opinion that neighbourhood schools and their pupils are not of a certain calibre.

However, a recent visit to Beacon Primary School during its Open House changed my mind.

I was immensely impressed with how well the pupils carried themselves and how confidently and eloquently they conversed with everyone. Were I not living far away, I would have considered enrolling my child there.

Singapore has always been proud of our schoolchildren for coming up tops for reading and maths.

How can we consistently boast of such accolades if we label non-prestigious schools as lesser?

Parents should try to accept the adage that every school is a good school. It is the pupils, their attitude and the parental support that is important and what ultimately counts in making children soar.

Lynn Chua Li-Ming (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2018, with the headline 'Allocate children to nearest school'. Print Edition | Subscribe