SINGAPORE - Primary 1 registration for next year will open on June 30, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (May 20).
This year's exercise will not be affected by the ongoing review of the Primary 1 registration framework, which was raised in Parliament during the Budget debate in March. The ministry is reviewing the framework to see how it can increase the number of places set aside under Phase 2C - the open phase for those who do not enjoy any form of priority admission, and is based on home-to-school distance.
For the second year in a row, registration will be online, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Parents can register through two modes of registration, depending on which phase their child is in.
For parents registering their child under Phase 1 - which allows parents to register their younger child at the school where an older child is currently studying - the school will provide parents with more details on how to register their younger child during the registration period using an online application form.
For Phases 2A(1), 2A(2) and 2B, the link to the online application form and user guide will be available on the MOE Primary 1 registration website, as well as the periods when the registration opens for these phases.
Phase 2A(1) is for parents who are alumni or who are members of the advisory or management committee of the school. Registration for this phase takes place on July 7 from 9am to 4.30pm, and its results will be out on July 13.
Phase 2A(2) applies to children whose siblings previously studied in the school of their choice or those who are studying in an MOE kindergarten located in that school. Parents who are staff of the school or are alumni can also apply under this phase. It will run from 9am on July 14 to 4.30pm on July 15. Successful applicants will be notified on July 23.
Parent volunteers who joined no later than July 1 last year, with at least 40 hours of service by June 30, or those registered with connected clan or church groups, among others, can register during Phase 2B.
This phase takes place from 9am on July 26 to 4.30pm on July 27. The results will be released on Aug 2.
For Phases 2C and 2C Supplementary, parents who did not or could not apply in the earlier phases will have to register on the Primary 1 Internet System (P1-IS), and they can refer to this website for more information to register.
The two phases begin in August.
MOE reiterated that parents should choose a school suitable to their child's learning needs and interest.
Under the Compulsory Education Act, Singapore citizens born after Jan 1, 1996, and residing in the country are required to attend national primary schools, including government-funded Special Education (Sped) schools.
Those born between Jan 2, 2015, and Jan 1, 2016, must either participate in this year's Primary 1 registration exercise for admission next January or enrol in the Junior 1/Primary 1 programme of a Sped school.
International pupils will continue to register under Phase 3 after all Singaporeans and permanent residents have been allocated a place under the earlier phases.
Those who wish to do so must undergo a two-step process that involves submitting an online form on the MOE Primary 1 website from June 1 to June 7. They will not be able to register during Phase 3 if they do not do so by June 7.
MOE will notify international pupil applicants in October whether they have been offered a place via e-mail.
Meanwhile, infrastructure upgrading plans for two primary schools have been put on hold or delayed.
Bukit View Primary School will continue operating at its current location at 18 Bukit Batok Street 21. It was scheduled to move to a holding site from January while its permanent campus undergoes upgrading. As MOE is further reviewing the project, the upgrading plan has been put on hold and the school will not move yet.
St Margaret's Primary School will also continue to operate from its current holding site in Mattar Road. As there is a delay in the upgrading project of its permanent site, the school will continue to operate from where it is currently located for another year until December 2023, said MOE.
As both the online application form and Primary 1-IS registration requires Singpass, parents are advised to set up their Singpass 2-Step Verification early and ensure that their Singpass account is valid before the commencement of the Primary 1 registration exercise.
Those who need further help may contact their school of choice using e-mail or telephone on the respective registration days, between 9am and 4.30pm.
Links to the online forms, user guides, declaration process and eligibility criteria can be found at this website.
From Thursday, parents of prospective Primary 1 pupils will also be able to download and register for MOE's Parents Gateway app on their mobile devices using their Singpass account.
The app notifies parents about updates and information on the Primary 1 registration exercise process and requirements. It will also inform them about administrative tasks before the start of school such as Primary 1 orientation dates, and the purchase of school uniforms and book supplies.
Parents told The Straits Times that the online application process was more convenient.
Ms Liew Hanqing, 39, who has two sons in primary school and will be registering her daughter at a popular school, said: "I feel quite positive about the exercise being online because it's more convenient than waiting in line with your documents and it's better for safe distancing."
Another parent, who wanted to be known as Madam Tai, noted that while the process was fuss-free, the system might be overwhelmed by the numerous applications submitted within a limited time period.
She said: "Unfortunately, the (MOE) system has not been doing too well. There could be issues like what happened with the Student Learning Space portal on Wednesday."
Some users of the portal had experienced intermittent access when they tried to log in on Wednesday, the first day of home-based learning.
Madam Tai, a corporate relations manager who intends to enrol her eldest daughter in Singapore Chinese Girls' School in Phase 2A(1) added: "If the system crashes, maybe MOE will extend the period of application."