SINGAPORE - A total of 33 primary schools drew more applications than places available in Phase 2B of the Primary 1 registration exercise this year, data from the Ministry of Education (MOE) website showed on Friday (July 22).
This means nearly a fifth of Singapore's 181 primary schools were oversubscribed in this phase, with Methodist Girls' School leading the pack with 79 applicants for 20 places.
Tao Nan School has 61 applicants for 23 places while Ai Tong School has 48 applicants for 20 spots.
Phase 2B - the third phase of the registration exercise - is reserved for children whose parents volunteer at the school, those endorsed by the church or clan directly connected to the school, or those whose parents are endorsed as active community leaders.
Of the oversubscribed schools, three will not hold a ballot - Fairfield Methodist School, Xinmin Primary School and Northland Primary School, MOE said.
The Straits Times understands that this may be due to other factors, such as the citizenship status of the applicants disqualifying some pupils in tie-breakers for spaces.
Meanwhile, 57 primary schools received no application in this phase while a further 24 schools had one each.
Competition appears to be heating up.
Last year, 26 schools held a ballot in this phase, while in 2020, 22 did so.
National Institute of Education Associate Professor Jason Tan had said previously that MOE doubling the number of reserve places in the next phase - Phase 2C - may have prompted parents to rush to secure a spot in earlier phases, pushing up competition.
MOE earlier announced that the number of places reserved for Phase 2C would double this year from 20 to 40, noting that this would lead to fewer places in the earlier phases.
Registration for Phase 2B began on Tuesday (July 19), and closed the day after.
The final results, including those of the ballots, will be released on Tuesday (July 26).
The next phase - 2C - will open for registration at 9am on Wednesday (July 27). It is the first phase open to children with no prior links to the school, and is widely seen to be the most competitive.