Parliamentary Replies

September 10, 2018

Increasing vacancies for registrants living near primary schools

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Mountbatten GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education whether more places in primary schools can be set aside for residents living within 1 km of the primary school if, historically, there are consistently insufficient places for students living in the vicinity of the school.

Response

1. MOE regularly reviews the demand and supply trends at the national and regional levels to ensure that there are sufficient school places for school-going children, taking into account the current and projected population as well as planned housing development programmes.

2. MOE ensures that there are sufficient places for all eligible Singaporean Primary One-going children within a reasonable distance from their homes. For the last three P1 Registration Exercises, about 98% of the registrants were able to obtain a place in a primary school of their choice, or a primary school within 2km of their residence.

3. While MOE plans the location of schools and the number of vacancies carefully, it is not possible to predict exactly how many students will register in a particular school in a particular year. The number changes from year to year, and proximity to the school is not the sole determinant of choice of school. For example, some parents may prefer to register their children in schools further away of which the parents are alumni, or where the grandparents live. In determining the number of classes for each school, MOE also has to calibrate the intake with the capacity of the school so as to ensure an optimum learning environment for all students.

4. In instances where there are insufficient vacancies in the school of their choice, we encourage parents to consider other primary schools near their residential address. MOE will continue to ensure every school is resourced with well-trained teachers, investing in their facilities, and ensuring sufficient support for good school programmes, so that every student can receive a good quality and holistic education, regardless of the school which he or she attends.