Measures to ensure popular schools at each year’s P1 Registration Exercise have a spread of students from different socio-economic status

Published Date: 05 October 2021 06:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Shahira Abdullah, Nominated Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education with regard to distance being a major factor in the new primary 1 registration process and as families with financial means are able to move nearer to the more popular or oversubscribed schools, whether the Ministry will consider measures to avoid such schools from having a homogenous high-income background demographic.

Response

1. Our primary motivation for reserving 40 places in Phase 2C, is to allow more children from families with no prior connections to be able to study at a school near their homes.

2. This helps to keep our schools open to children of different backgrounds, as a diverse group of children can be admitted through the different phases in the P1 Registration Exercise.

3. The P1 Registration Framework by itself cannot guarantee an ideal mix of social-economic backgrounds amongst the students in a school. Instead, the framework reflects a careful balance between different considerations, such as having siblings study in the same school, alumni ties to the school, proximity between the school and homes, as well as various forms of voluntary contributions to the school and the community.

4. All our schools are well-resourced with good teachers, suitable facilities and funding for school programmes to cater to the diverse strengths and interests of our students. We take particular efforts to do more for our students who may have greater learning needs or come from more disadvantaged backgrounds, and are committed to providing every student a quality and holistic education, regardless of the school he or she attends.

5. To enable schools to benefit from fresh perspectives and share good practices at the leadership level, our Principals are also typically rotated after contributing in the same school between four to eight years. This allows Principals sufficient time to review and put in place programmes to benefit their school before moving to lead a new one.

6. MOE has also been enhancing opportunities for our students to have meaningful interactions with peers from diverse backgrounds, through inter-school activities and collaborations, such as Co-Curricular Activities and Values-in-Action (VIA) projects. MOE has also set up the Junior Sports Academy, a national sports talent development programme for P4 and P5 students, and regularly runs Outdoor Adventure Learning cohort camps that pair different schools together. These efforts provide a common educational experience and interaction space for students of different backgrounds to forge friendships across schools and backgrounds.

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