Total Pageviews


Friday, June 21, 2019

PR Holders: Getting A Primary School For Children

We have reached the 6th month of 2019 year, June. One month later, a lot of parents will be busy enrolling their children into the Primary School. It reminds me of what I experienced last year. The Primary One registration was even more challenging last year because there were many kids looking for school last year and the seats were limited. Based on the statistics, there were 42,663 dragon babies who were born in 2012 while in 2013 there were only 39,720 babies. Getting a primary school was more challenging last year and it was even harder for Permanent Resident holders because if the number of seats are less than the applicants, the priority would be given to Singaporeans.

My first consideration was to get a primary school nearer to our home. It will save a lot of time and energy for the kid and also the parents who bring them to school. Ideally the school is within the walking distance so we can save the transportation cost, too. The second criteria was getting a reputable school in academic and character development. Knowledge is important but good attitude is the one that will bring our kids further in life.

Based on these criteria, we would like our kids to study in RPS that is located just in front of our home. Walking to the school only takes us 5 minutes. I wanted it badly since two years before the registration year, but I knew it was kind of impossible because even the citizens needed to do balloting to enter the school every year and that meant no hope for a PR holder's kid to get a seat there. The only chance was to do parent volunteer. As soon as they opened the registration for parent volunteer, I registered. However, as expected, there was no response from the school. My application for PV was eventually rejected. I was so disappointed. I knew there was no hope anymore to enter this school. Every time I passed  by the school when I wanted to go out to the LRT station, I was sad. The school is so close but yet so far to reach. However, I started to accept the reality and began to look for another school.

As you may already know, our guidance for PS registration is MOE web (www. There are several registration phases:
1. Phase 1: For a child who has sibling studying the PS of choice.

Our dragon baby (who wasn't a baby anymore) is our firstborn so she can't enter through this phase.

2. Phase 2A (1):
a. For a child whose parent is a former student of the PS and who has joined alumni association as   a member not later than 30 June 2018
b. For a child whose parent is a member of School Advisory/Management Commitee

Both of my husband and me studied in Indonesia until university so our kid also cannot enter this phase.

3. Phase 2A (2): 
a. For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the primary school of choice
b. For a child whose parent is a staff member of the PS of choice
. For a child from the MOE Kindergarten under the purview of and located within the primary school of choice

Our only chance in this phase is the third criteria but RPS does not have affiliated MOE Kindergaten and if they have, it will be too late to register since MOE just added this criteria last year.

4. Phase 2B
a. For a child whose parent has joined the PS as a parent volunteer not later than 1 July 2018 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 June 2019
b. For a child whose parent is a member endorsed by the church/clan directly connected with the primary school
c. For a child whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader

This phases is the updated version for this year's registration. Parent volunteer should be done at least a year before registration. I registered as soon as our PS of choice opened their PV registration but as I mentioned above, my application was rejected. Being a parent volunteer meaning that we can submit registration form in Phase 2B but there is still no guarantee we can be accepted in the school. If the number of applicants are exceed the number of vacancies in Phase 2B, the school will still do the balloting.

After this phase finished last year, there were only half of the available seat in RPS left for the next phase. That was also what happened in other popular primary school, a lot of seat were occupied in this phase.

5. Phase 2C
For all children who are eligible for Primary One in the following year and are not yet registered in a primary school.

This is the most competitive phase among all, especially for babies born in the year of dragon. There are a lot number of applicants while the vacancies are limited in popular school. Singapore Citizen (SC) will be given absolute priority over Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) when balloting is necessary. If the number of applications exceed the number of vacancies, SC will be admitted first ahead of PR before home school distance is considered. Hence for PR, the home school distance is not an "important factor" because even though our home is very close (around 30m) from RPS, Singaporeans who stay 100 m from RPS will be given priority over us.

Registration in phase 2C can be done in three days and it is not based on the first come, first serve basis. It means there is no different in chances whether we register on the first day or the 3rd day. The school will collect the number of all applicants who register in those three days and compared with the number of vacancies. If the number of applicants exceed the number of vacancies, they will do balloting.

MOE updated the number of applicants vs vacancies every day on their website. We watched the number closely to know our chances. By the end of Day 1, the number of applicants in RPS already exceeded the number of vacancies. I knew I had to forget RPS and register at other school. I didn't feel sad anymore because a year had passed since I was first rejected. Another PS of choice that is located within 1km from my home was also balloting for SC so I needed to find other school.

I considered 2 other PS that are located within 3km from my place,  let's say PS A and B. By the end of Day 2, the number of seats left in PS A was only less than 20 seats while in PS B there were still around 60 seats. At Day 3, we had to make a decision which PS we were going to register our kid. Shall we register her in PS A that is more established and has a good reputation but subjected to balloting for PR who stayed within 3km? Or shall we register her in PS B, a new school that still had more vacancies and most probably no balotting? In term of distance, both are relatively the same. We need to take public transportation for around 30-40 minutes to reach both schools.

After a long consideration finally we decided to register at PS B. We did not want to face balloting and took the risk of registering in Phase 2C supplementary as the chances of getting a good school for PR would be even slimmer. As predicted, we gott the seat at PS B when MOE announced the result. Praise God.

For your information, the next phase of registration are Phase 2C Supplementary and Phase 3:

6. Phase 2C Supplementary
For a child who is not yet registered in a primary school after phase 2C.

7. Phase 3

Only for non Singapore citizen/no Permanent Resident children who have indicated their interest and are informed by MOE in October 2019 that they can be offered a P1 place. 

It had been half a year since my girl started her school at PS B. She is growing well there. From only reading simple words, now she is able to read a thick book. She has a good form teacher who recognizes her potential and gives her trust to be a Prefect. She has many friends and builds close friendship with some of them. She is happy and excited to go to school everyday. The only downside is the distance. She needs to wake up very early in the morning to go to school. It takes 40 minutes for us to reach her school. But after some time, we get used to it.

In summary, here are some tips for PR:
1. Gather information about Primary Schools within your area. If the nearby Primary School is a favourite school, prepare for other alternatives that may be a bit far but is accessible by public transport. You can check to know which primary schools are available within your area. To check the balloting history of primary schools, you can follow

2. Be realistic in setting your expectation. If the track record shows that SC needs to do balloting at your primary school of choice, join Parent Volunteer. That is the only chance to get the seat. If you can't join PV then it will be better to find another alternatives. Personally I believe every government school will not be much different in term of education quality. The curriculum for each school will be the same.

3. At Phase 2C, monitor closely on daily basis, what the chances are to enter your primary school of choice and then register at the last day of phase 2C.

I wish all the parents who register this year a very good luck!

The dragon baby and Dad. 

No comments:

Post a Comment