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MOE reviewing Pri 1 registration framework to look at increasing spots for pupils living near school

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) is looking at how to increase places for pupils registering for Primary 1 under Phase 2C of the registration framework, the phase set aside for those who live near the school.

MOE reviewing Pri 1 registration framework to look at increasing spots for pupils living near school

The Ministry of Education is looking at ways to allow more children who live near their chosen school to register in Phase 2C of the Primary 1 registration process.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) is looking at how to increase places for pupils registering for Primary 1 under Phase 2C of the registration framework, the phase set aside for those who live near the school.

Right now, 20 places are reserved for children with no prior connection to the school, but who live within the school’s vicinity, in Phase 2C, the fifth of seven phases in the annual registration exercise.

But Education Minister Lawrence Wong pointed out in Parliament on Wednesday (March 3) that any increase under Phase 2C may make the earlier phases of the registration process even more competitive than they already are.

Therefore, he said that the review will have to “balance the competing demands” so that all Singaporean children and their families have “a better chance at their school of choice… while still recognising the merits of providing some priority to certain groups”.

Mr Wong’s comments were made in response to calls from Members of Parliament (MPs) Shawn Huang and Patrick Tay to review the Primary 1 registration framework during the debate on MOE’s budget.

Mr Tay, who is the MP for Pioneer Single Member Constituency, said residents have told him that they are unable to secure a place at the school near their homes as the registration is oversubscribed in Phase 2C.

He has also heard anecdotally that many parents are registering their children in the earlier phases, leaving fewer places for those who live within the vicinity of the school.

Similarly, Mr Huang, MP for Jurong Group Representation Constituency, said his residents have found it challenging to obtain a spot in the primary school of their choice as the schools in their neighbourhood are usually very popular.

These residents also have to compete with parents who are former students at the school and therefore want their children to attend the school as well.

In his speech, Mr Wong acknowledged that the competition for spaces in more popular schools has intensified in recent years, and so some children do not get to attend a school near their home even with the 20 spots set aside under Phase 2C.

He agreed with the MPs that more places should be reserved under Phase 2C, and these will be looked at during the review.

“We give priority to some groups like children of school alumni because we want families to build connections to their schools, and for each school to develop its own traditions, history and identity,” said Mr Wong.

“At the same time, we do not want our primary schools to become closed circles, which you can only access if your parents or siblings went there.”

“Ultimately, I want to reassure members that MOE remains committed to ensuring the quality of every primary school. Wherever our children go for their studies, they will be well served and well supported to reach their fullest potential,” he said.

Related topics

MOE Primary 1 Phase 2C registration primary school

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