Differential treatment across primary schools for P1 admissions

Published Date: 24 February 2021 08:52 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim, Sengkang GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education whether there are any plans to (i) reduce the allocation of places in primary schools during Phases 2A and 2B especially among popular or high-ranked schools and (ii) make funding for schools inversely proportional to the number of students accepted in Phase 2A.

Response

1. The Primary 1 (P1) Registration Framework aims to provide children with school places based on a set of transparent criteria applicable for all schools. If there are to be any changes to be made to the framework, it should be done in a consistent manner across all primary schools, and not targeted only at a sub-set of schools.

2. We have from time to time reviewed and refined the P1 registration framework, and will continue to do so taking in public feedback and our analysis of the trends from every P1 Registration Exercise.

3. MOE resources schools based on student enrolment, student profile, and any programmatic needs to support student learning. Our objective is to uplift all students, and to provide more support for those with greater needs. Hence schools with a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who need these intervention programmes will receive more resources from MOE. For example, this would include the deployment of additional teachers to help these students in the Learning Support Programmes for English, Mathematics and Mother Tongue Languages.

4. In contrast, A/P Lim has proposed to link funding for primary schools to the number of students they receive in the Phase 2A registration. In fact, schools that attract a relatively higher proportion of students in Phase 2A can be found all over Singapore, and they attract a good mix of students from diverse backgrounds. An across-the-board cut in funding just because the school is popular in Phase 2A will end up negatively impacting the students who need more support. That would run counter to our objective of uplifting these students.

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