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Parents laud ‘positive’ change to Pri 1 registration exercise, but ...

date:Sep 23,2013 source:意腾留学网 editorial staff:linan clicks:

Some question if fight for places would now spread to popular schools with ‘less history’

Parents laud ‘positive’ change to Pri 1 registration exercise, but ...

SINGAPORE — The change to the Primary 1 registration exercise to reserve at least 40 places for children with no connection to the school of their choice has been met with a mixed bag of reactions from parents, while the Ministry of Education (MOE) elaborated yesterday that these places will be split equally between Phases 2B and 2C.

These phases are for those whose parents are volunteers, or have clan or church affiliations; and for all other Singaporean citizens, respectively. The three earlier phases in the registration exercise are: Phase 1 for those whose siblings are pupils; Phase 2A1 for those whose parents are alumni association members; and Phase 2A2 for those whose parents are ex-students.

Although some lauded the move as a “positive and balanced” step towards ensuring more equal opportunities for children who have no ties to their dream schools, others questioned whether competition for places would simply spread to other popular schools with “less history” or weaker alumni affiliations.

Indeed, some parents, like clerical officer Theresa Lee, were already mulling moves to secure places at their schools of choice.
Pointing out that her husband was not an alumni association member of Kong Hwa School, the 35-year-old said they are considering joining “for better assurance” that their daughter would get in under Phase 2A1.

Others, like Mr Christopher Tan, 34, admitted that the change might affect his child’s chances to getting into Rosyth School, but welcomed it as “balanced and not implemented too hastily in one direction”.

He said: “Mr Lee could very well have said that we can do away with the priority scheme and everyone can register their children based on just Phase 2B and 2C, but that would be too arbitrary and wouldn’t give parents time to prepare.”
When contacted yesterday, one alumni association committee member of a top boys’ school said the change will be discussed at their next meeting.

As the number of places in popular primary schools for children without prior connection to them declined over the years, calls for a review have grown louder. In a nod to these calls, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally on Sunday that primary schools had to be prevented from becoming “closed institutions”, where only those whose parents were alumni can get in.
The MOE also said yesterday that the minimum of 40 places set aside will be on top of the vacancies after Phase 2A2 that are already divided equally between Phases 2B and 2C.

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