To help children better transition to Primary 1, those attending Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens will be given priority to enter the primary school to which their kindergarten is co-located with.
MOE said this will involve 12 kindergartens as part of a pilot scheme next year. Kindergarten children applying for admission to the respective primary school will be eligible under Phase 2A2 of the Primary 1 registration scheme, which currently applies to children whose parent or siblings had studied in the primary school, but had not joined the alumni association.
The change, announced Nov 27, 2017, puts MOE kindergarten children ahead of those who apply in the next phase 2B, which gives priority to parent volunteers and those with church or clan links.
The Ministry though assured parents that it will continue to set aside a minimum of 40 places for Phase 2B and 2C. It also said that it will provide sufficient school places on a regional basis so that no child will have to travel long distances to his or her primary school.
When asked why MOE was making this move, Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said: “MOE always has the child at the centre of its policy making. It will facilitate the child’s learning in a more familiar environment…we hope to enable the child to have a smoother transition to Primary 1.”
Will the change lead to more pressure for Primary 1 registration?
But it admitted that “as demand situations differ from year to year, we are unable to predict the demand situation in individual schools and kindergartens”.
“The MOE kindergartens are located in areas with upcoming developments and families with young children. We expect healthy demand for these school-based kindergartens as well as the primary schools in that area.”
MOE explained that it was making this change to help children have an easier transition to the co-located primary schools. “Facilitating them to remain in a familiar physical, social and educational environment for their primary school education will help smoothen their transition to Primary 1.
“With a close partnership between the kindergarten and the primary school, the latter would also be more familiar with the needs of the children, and can more quickly ensure that they have the necessary developmental support when they enter Primary 1.”
Currently about 40 to 60 per cent of MOE Kindergarten children enrol in the co-located primary schools. Each kindergarten takes in about 60 to 120 children every year.