Primary 1 registration: Balloting likely at 11 popular schools

Children applying to 11 popular schools may need to face a ballot at the third of seven phases in the Primary 1 registration exercise.

This is up from two schools last year which had more applicants than vacancies available at this stage.

Red Swastika School, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Gongshang Primary School were among the oversubscribed schools when Phase 2A2 - for children whose parents or siblings are alumni, or whose parents are staff members at the school - closed yesterday. Red Swastika School, for instance, had 29 children vying for just six spots.

This year, children in 12 kindergartens run by the Ministry of Education (MOE) can also apply to their co-located primary school during this phase. Some of these primary schools saw higher take-up rates than last year.

Riverside Primary School in Woodlands had just two children signing up for 69 spots in Phase 2A2 last year, but this year, it had 44 children signing up for the same number of places.

West Spring Primary School in Bukit Panjang had 41 children registered for 99 spots. Last year, only two children applied for 97 places in the school.

The MOE had said earlier that the move to give these children priority is to help them have an easier transition to the associated primary schools.

In an attempt to meet the larger number of Dragon Year babies born in 2012 who are starting Primary 1 next year, 2,600 more places will be made available, bringing the number to about 41,800 places in the 184 primary schools.

 

A total of 82 primary schools had filled more than half of their places by yesterday. This included three schools - CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, Catholic High School and Henry Park Primary School - which did not take in pupils at this stage this year as their places had been filled by the previous stage.

Those children who need to ballot at this point will receive their results on Tuesday after computerised balloting is done at the MOE headquarters. Their parents will be notified via text message whether they are successful or not.

In an attempt to meet the larger number of Dragon Year babies born in 2012 who are starting Primary 1 next year, 2,600 more places will be made available, bringing the number to about 41,800 places in the 184 primary schools.

In recent years, some schools have been facing a squeeze because of the rule introduced in 2014, requiring all primary schools to set aside 40 places for children in the later stages, Phases 2B and 2C.

The next phase, 2B, is for children whose parents are school volunteers, active community leaders or have ties with church or clan associations directly connected with the schools. Registration will start on July 19.

Mrs Deniece Wong, a housewife, registered her younger son, Dominic, in Tao Nan School in Phase 2A2. Her older son, Dylan, now in junior college, had also attended the school in Marine Parade.

"Dylan excelled in the school and went on to Raffles Institution, so we hope Dominic can study in the best environment and achieve what his brother did," said the 47-year-old.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'Primary 1 registration: Balloting likely at 11 popular schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe