Children starting Primary 1 in 2020 should face less competition in this year's registration exercise.
Fewer - about 38,000 - will be registering this year, compared with last year's 40,600 Dragon Year babies born in 2012, the Ministry of Education (MOE) told The Straits Times yesterday.
The annual Primary 1 registration exercise is conducted over seven phases.
Phase 1, which starts today, is for children whose siblings are current pupils of the school. Parents registering their younger children under this phase can submit the registration form and documents through their older children, who will receive the form from their schools.
Phase 2A1 will start next Tuesday. It is for children whose parents are members of the alumni association or members of the school advisory or management committee.
The next phase, 2A2, which starts on July 15, is for children whose parents or siblings are former pupils, or whose parent is a member of the staff at the school.
Children from the kindergartens run by MOE will also be able to apply during this phase to enter the primary school that shares a compound with their kindergarten.
Phase 2B, which starts on July 22, is for children whose parents have volunteered in schools, have affiliations to churches or clan associations linked to the schools, or are active community leaders.
For Phases 2A1, 2A2 and 2B, parents can submit the registration form and documents at their school of choice.
Those with no links to the schools will have to register in Phase 2C, starting on July 29 (online) or July 30 (registration at the school).
A new school, Valour Primary School, will open next year, bringing the total number of primary schools in this year's exercise to 185.
While Valour Primary's premises will be ready only in February next year due to delays in construction, the school and its co-located MOE kindergarten will continue to admit their first cohorts next year and operate from nearby Punggol Cove Primary for one term, from Jan 2 to March 13.
Number of additional places made available across 184 schools in last year's exercise to accommodate the Dragon Year cohort.
Total number of primary schools in this year's exercise.
In last year's exercise, 2,600 more places across 184 schools were made available to accommodate the Dragon Year cohort.
Parents can look at The Straits Times' interactive graphic that uses data for Primary 1 registration from the past 13 years to come up with a forecast on how likely it is that a school will enter the balloting stage, based on the number of applicants in past years.
Balloting may be required when the number of applications exceeds the vacancies available.