Singapore citizens will be given absolute priority over permanent resident (PR) applicants for placement in primary schools here, says the Ministry of Education (MOE).
In a statement released on Sunday, the ministry said that both citizens and PRs will be eligible for the same application phases, and that all who apply for placement in a school will be admitted, as long as there are places for them.
However, should there be an overwhelming response, children who are citizens will be granted places ahead of PRs, before the traditional factor of home-to-school distance is considered.
“By giving Singapore citizens priority before PRs only when balloting is required, MOE will retain the underlying principles of the P1 Registration Framework… and provide for diversity in our schools, while according Singapore citizens a further privilege,” said the ministry in its statement.
It added that international students will still be able to register for a place in primary schools here after Singapore citizens and PRs are placed, at the third phase of the registration exercise.
The previous system of balloting for vacancies in primary schools involved Singapore citizen applicants receiving two ballot slips, with each PR receiving one, and places are then balloted according to the home-to-school distance categories that each child belongs to. This gave PR applicants one chance for every two that a Singaporean child had, although the home-to-school distance category took precedence over nationality.
At the same time, the ministry announced that seven new primary schools will be open for registration this year — three of which are in Sengkang, two in Punggol, one in Jurong West and another in Woodlands. Click here for more details.