SINGAPORE - Parents hoping to secure spots for their children in three popular primary schools, which are also their alma mater, will have to go through balloting for a place and receive the results next Monday (July 9).
When registration for Phase 2A1 - the second of seven phases - closed on Wednesday (July 4), three schools had more applicants than places for them.
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School has 108 girls vying for 101 spots, Catholic High School has 121 boys applying for 118 places, and Henry Park Primary School has 110 children registering for 101 places.
Balloting for oversubscribed places will be carried out electronically for Singaporean children who live outside 2km of all three schools, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE) website.
All of them were applying in Phase 2A1, which is for children whose parents are members of the school's alumni association or its advisory or management committee. Applications closed on Wednesday.
Balloting at this stage is considered early in the annual Primary 1 registration exercise.
In the past, applicants at this stage would have got their preferred schools, but a rule introduced in 2014 requires all primary schools to set aside 40 places for children in the later phases of 2B and 2C.
In 2015, parents of 73 children hoping to enter CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School had to ballot for 68 places in Phase 2A1.
This year, however, parents will not need to be present for the sometimes stressful balloting process, which will be computerised and done centrally at MOE headquarters.
Parents will be notified through a text message on the same day if their children have been successful or not in securing a place.
Vacancies for the next stage, Phase 2A2, will be given in an update on MOE's website by 8pm on July 9. This phase is for children whose parents or siblings are former pupils, or whose parent is a staff member at the school. From this year, children from 12 kindergartens run by the Ministry of Education will also be able to apply at this phase for the primary school that shares a compound with their kindergarten.
About 41,000 children are expected to register this year for Primary 1.