SINGAPORE - Phase 2C of the annual Primary 1 registration, which is considered the most competitive, kicked off on Tuesday (Aug 3).
The fifth of seven phases is for Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) who do not enjoy any priority admission, and is based on home-to-school distance.
The open phase usually has the highest number of schools needing a ballot, compared with the earlier stages.
Last year, 99 schools went to ballot in Phase 2C, whereas 22 schools did in Phase 2B and 14 in Phase 2A2.
As many as 101 schools, more than half of the 186 participating schools last year, were oversubscribed in Phase 2C.
Of the 181 participating schools this year, 12 have only 20 places each on offer in this phase. They include Catholic High School, Nanyang Primary School and Rulang Primary School.
Since the 2020 P1 registration exercise, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has also capped the intake of PR children in Phases 2C and 2C Supplementary for some schools.
The cap, which is between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the school's planned Primary 1 intake, aims to prevent any concentration of PR children in primary schools.
This applies to eight schools this year, down from 10 last year.
They are Bukit Timah Primary School, Changkat Primary School, Clementi Primary School, North Spring Primary School, Marymount Convent School, Opera Estate Primary School, Park View Primary School and Tanjong Katong Primary School.
On its website, MOE said the cap for these schools does not change the priority that Singapore citizens have over PRs. If there are more applicants than vacancies in any registration phase, Singaporean children will be prioritised over PR children.
In Parliament on March 3 this year, then Education Minister Lawrence Wong noted that MOE would review the P1 registration framework to see how it could increase the number of places set aside under Phase 2C.
Since 2014, every school sets aside 40 places for children with no prior connection with the school - 20 in Phase 2B and 20 in Phase 2C.
Phase 2B is for children whose parents are school volunteers, active community leaders or have ties to church or clan associations directly connected with the school.
Any changes in the ministry's review will take effect starting with the cohort of children registering next year to enter Primary 1 in 2023.
For Phase 2C, parents can register online using the Primary One Internet System or an online form in the system.
Applications for this phase closes on Thursday at 4.30pm and its results will be released in two weeks, on Aug 17.