SINGAPORE - Registration for children starting Primary 1 next year will be completely online, in view of the Covid-19 situation, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Wednesday (May 27).
The upcoming exercise starts on July 1 and end on Oct 30, and will be conducted over seven phases.
The changes will affect Phases 2A1, 2A2 and 2B, while the other stages, Phases 1, 2C and 2C Supplementary - which are already conducted online - will largely remain the same, said MOE.
The earlier phases - 1 and 2A - are for children whose siblings are current pupils of the school, and children whose parents are members of the alumni association, or who are members of the school advisory or management committee.
Phase 2B 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.
Children with no prior links to the primary schools of their choice apply in Phase 2C. International children can only apply in Phase 3.
This year, instead of in-person registration for Phases 2A1, 2A2 and 2B, parents will need to complete an online application form to register their child, using their SingPass.
Parents are advised to set up their SingPass 2-Step Verification early, and ensure that their SingPass account is valid before the Primary 1 registration exercise starts.
Those who require assistance during registration may contact the school of their choice via e-mail or telephone on the days of registration between 9am and 4.30pm.
The list of primary schools and vacancies available will be updated at the MOE website by mid-June 2020.
CAP ON PR CHILDREN INTAKE
MOE also said on Wednesday that it will be introducing a cap on the intake of permanent resident (PR) children in primary schools, from this year's exercise.
The cap will be about 25 per cent to 30 per cent of a school's planned Primary 1 intake, and will only be applied in Phase 2C and 2C Supplementary.
"This is to prevent any concentration of PR children in our primary schools, provide a more conducive environment to encourage interaction between Singapore citizen and PR children, and facilitate the integration of PR children into Singapore," said MOE.
The ministry said that the vast majority of primary schools and PR children will not be affected by this change, as past patterns of PR admissions are "well below the cap of 25 per cent to 30 per cent".
For this year, the cap will take effect in these 10 schools:
1. Bukit Timah Primary School
2. Bukit View Primary School
3. Changkat Primary School
4. Greendale Primary School
5. Marymount Convent School
6. North Spring Primary School
7. Opera Estate Primary School
8. Pioneer Primary School
9. Tanjong Katong Primary School
10. Xingnan Primary School
MOE said these schools are identified as their recent patterns of PR admissions are close to 25 per cent to 30 per cent of their planned Primary 1 enrolment in the past one to three years.
Going forward, the ministry will review and publish yearly the list of schools that will have to reflect a cap on their intake of PR children.
"This is to enable parents of PR children to make an informed choice and consider registering their child in other nearby schools if they wish to," it said.
In the statement, MOE also reminded parents that the address used in the P1 Registration Exercise should be the parents' official residential address as reflected on their NRICs.
If a child gains priority admission into a school through the home-school distance category, he is required to live at the address used for registration for at least 30 months from July 1, the start of the exercise this year. If this condition is not met, MOE reserves the right to transfer the child to another school.
DELAY IN PROJECTS
The MOE also said that precautionary and safe distancing measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 has affected upgrading works for four schools.
These are Bukit View Primary School, Mayflower Primary School, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and St Margaret's Primary School.
Bukit View Primary was slated to move to a holding site from January 2021 while its permanent site undergoes upgrading. However, due to delays in sprucing works, the holding site will not be ready for operations to start next year.
The school will only move to the holding site in January 2022, and move back to its permanent site in January 2024 after upgrading is completed.
Mayflower Primary will return to its permanent site in January 2022 instead of January 2021, as more time is needed to complete upgrading. St Margaret's Primary will also go back to its permanent site in January 2023 instead of January 2022.
Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary, which is currently undergoing on-site upgrading, will transit to single-session in January 2022 instead of a year earlier as planned.
The MOE said it will continue to monitor the situation closely and assess the impact of the Covid-19 situation on ongoing construction works.
"Schools will make the necessary arrangements during the affected periods to ensure that all students continue to have a conducive learning environment."
The pandemic has also delayed plans for a new primary school to open in January 2021 to meet growing demand for school places in Tampines North, said the ministry.
The new school campus will only be ready by late 2021 instead, it said, adding that it has decided that it will relocate an existing school, Angsana Primary School, to the new campus in January 2022.
The new campus in 51 Tampines Street 61, is about 2km away from Angsana Primary's current site in 3 Tampines Street 22.
The MOE said this move "would achieve a better overall distribution of primary school places in the area", and provide Angsana Primary with a new set of facilities for current and future pupils.
These include an indoor sports hall, band room, dance studio, media resource library and multi-purpose hall. The new campus will also include an MOE Kindergarten which will open in 2022.