SINGAPORE - More children have obtained Primary 1 spots in schools through Phase 2A over the past decade, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.
In a written response to Mr Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC), Mr Chan said the proportion of children successfully registered in Phase 2A grew from about 12 per cent to 16 per cent of the Primary 1 cohort over the past decade.
Phase 2A is for children who have a parent or sibling who is a former pupil, or those who have a parent who is a member of the school advisory or management committee, or a staff member. Children from the Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergarten under the primary school of their choice also qualify for this phase.
Mr Chan said the increase in successful applicants in Phase 2A is due to children enrolled in MOE kindergartens, with the proportion of other registrants in this phase remaining stable.
Conversely, the proportion of children successfully registered in Phase 2B decreased from about 6 per cent to 4 per cent over the same period, he said.
This is because there have been fewer parent volunteers, whom schools select based on their needs, said Mr Chan. The proportion of other Phase 2B registrants – children of endorsed members of religious groups or clans that had helped establish these schools, and children of active community leaders – was stable.
MOE has in recent years taken steps to ensure primary schools remain accessible by setting aside more places in Phase 2C, which is for children with no prior links to the primary schools.
Observers have said this has intensified competition, with more schools oversubscribed in earlier phases.