The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that it will be introducing two administrative refinements to the Primary One (P1) registration exercise, which will take effect from the 2018 registration exercise.
Under the existing P1 registration framework, if the number of applications exceeds the vacancies at a school during a particular registration phase and the home-school distance category, the remaining vacancies are allocated by ballot. Balloting is currently conducted manually in schools.
From the 2018 P1 registration exercise, manual balloting by schools will be replaced by computerised balloting conducted centrally by MOE HQ.
It noted that similar to the manual process, computerised balloting ensures that all registrants that need to ballot are assured of an equal chance for admission into the school. This helps to streamline the P1 registration processes and make them more convenient for parents, since they no longer need to make arrangements to physically attend the balloting in schools.
"Computerised balloting is a secure process which has been used by MOE for the Secondary One Posting and the Joint Admissions Exercises for many years," the minister stressed.
Similar to current processes, MOE noted that parents can refer to the MOE website to find out which schools require balloting at the end of each registration phase.
Information on the number of applications received and the number of remaining vacancies in each school will continue to be made available on the MOE website and updated at the end of each day during the registration period.
In addition to a letter which is sent to each parent at the end of each phase of the P1 registration exercise - notifying them of their registration outcome (including balloting result, if applicable) - this year, parents will also be notified via Short Messaging System (SMS) on the day the registration result is announced.
MOE said that this way, parents can get their registration outcome (including balloting outcome) as soon as it is available (i.e. on the day that registration result is announced).
"Computerised balloting aside, the registration process and eligibility phases for Singapore Citizens (SC) and Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) children for the P1 registration exercise remain unchanged," it added.
The ministry also said that international students will continue to register at Phase 3, after all SCs and PRs have been allocated a place under the earlier phases of the P1 registration exercise.
Over the years, MOE said that it has been receiving more applications from international students for Phase 3 admissions, resulting in increased time needed to process these applications.
The ministry stated that from the 2018 P1 registration exercise, international students will be required to undergo a two-step process, which is submitting an online ‘indication of interest’ form via the MOE P1 website, from 5 to 11 June 2018 and international students who have submitted the ‘indication of interest’ form and are notified in October by MOE that they can be offered a P1 place in a school, must register in-person at the designated schools during Phase 3 of the 2018 P1 registration exercise (in late October 2018).
MOE stressed that international students who do not submit the ‘indication of interest’ form to MOE by 11 June 2018 will not be able to register during Phase 3 of the P1 registration exercise.
He then said parents of international students should note that the ‘indication of interest’ is not considered as registration. As in previous P1 exercises, parents of international students should note that school admission at Phase 3 is not guaranteed, since there are limited vacancies remaining after places have been allocated to SC/PR children. It would be advisable for these parents to consider alternative educational options well ahead of time.
The registration of children for admission to P1 classes in 2019 will be opened from 28 June 2018 to 31 October 2018. More information on the procedures and documents required is available at the P1 registration exercise website.