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Source: iTunes - Aplle screengrab.

Parents Gateway – digital service connecting parents and school launched

Parents Gateway, the digital service that connects parents and schools on key administrative matters, was officially launched by Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, at Huamin Primary School earlier on Wednesday (2 January).

In partnership with the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), the Ministry of Education (MOE) has developed Parents Gateway - a one-stop mobile app for parents and schools to better support their children’s educational journey through improved communications.

The centrally coordinated initiative, available on IOS and Android for parents, allows schools to send updates on programmes and activities, which also allows parents to perform administrative functions such as providing consent for their children to participate in school activities.

The ministry stated that similar to the Moments of Life (MOL) app, parents can use their SingPass accounts, SMS 2FA or OneKey Token to gain access to Parents Gateway.

Through this dedicated account, parents will be able to receive information and perform administrative functions for their children, even if the children are in different classes, or from different schools, it noted.

Parents Gateway was first piloted in small groups in 10 schools in 2017. Following the successful trial, 56 more schools joined the Early Adopters programme in 2018, and trialled the use of the app with small groups of parents.

The ministry added that all 66 schools will work towards rolling out Parents Gateway to their entire school by the first quarter of this year and it will also progressively roll out the Parents Gateway app to all schools.

According to MOE, the majority of the 1,600 parents who responded to a survey on the initial phase of Parents Gateway rated the app positively, saying that they found Parents Gateway convenient and easy to use.

However, looking through comments posted on mainstream medias comment section, some parents said that there are too may applications available and the government has changed them too many times.

Sheri Chee wrote, "ClassDojo, SNAC, C2HAMPS and now this “ParentsRunAway”. MoE, can you make up your mind and consolidate the various apps into one. Once for all and please do not change anymore. I’m so done with all these new apps."

Vincent Tan wrote, "Don't create a new for the sake of it. I got two apps for my kid. Annoying."

Alvin Kuo wrote, "Quite a number of schools are using ClassDojo. Wonder whether the new app will bring more benefits to teachers and parents."

The ministry stated that additional services will be added to the Parents Gateway portal incrementally. For example, by the end of 2019, parents can look forward to completing travel declarations on their mobile devices, and updating their contact details.

"Under the Digital Government Blueprint, the Government is committed to using digital technology to serve citizens better. Parents Gateway is a part of this effort, and a step in our Smart Nation journey," it added.