Primary School Registration for Dragon babies

Okay, this is only year 2015, and Ollie is not due for any primary school registration until..well, 2019. But why am I so bothered about it?

Cos..he is born in the year of the Dragon. Aiyeee. Totally unplanned okay. And we are faced with this kind of competition for places in school.

No. of babies born in the past 5 years.

No. of babies born in the past 5 years.

To be honest, I was a little worried. I wasn’t too much concerned about which school he got into (branded..or not). I was more keen to get him into a school that was close to home (i.e., within 1km away from home).

But why all this fuss now then? We just wanted to do some homework and work out what may be best for us and also for the kids. I don’t want it to be all about the parents choosing the school, for the sake of being in a “good” school. I want it to be about the kids too!

A few things we considered when we were doing our research to prepare ourselves:

1) Choice of school dependent on:
– location; &/or
– higher chance of getting in (alumni / ex-student)

We checked out the past years statistics of student registration to give us an idea of our odds…which is obviously not in our favour. *sadface. You can check out the statistics here! You will need to be a member of the forum in order to access the data. The people at KiasuParents Forum were even kind enough to break down the numbers into phases so you get a clearer picture of how many people took up the vacancies and all for the past decade. 

And then..we found out the two schools we were keen on (Tao Nan via ex-student) and Red Swastika (via location)..hais, only had Partial Session for now, which means students in Primary 1 & 2 will be in the afternoon session and students in Primary 3-6 will be in the morning session.

Wah liewwww….means for two years I could potentially have one kid in morning session and one kid in afternoon session!

Read why the move into a single session here:

 http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/primary/changes/#smaller-class-size

http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/single-session/

Puuuuuhleaaaase make it all single session by the time Ollie goes to school. Or at least when QT goes to school. 

2) Choice of school based on social environment

This is one point of contention between Donald and I. I am happy for Ollie to go to any school as long as it is nearby. 

To be honest, when I got caught in the frenzy of Pri 1 registration that were reported in the media, I told Donald that we would have to enrol Ollie in Tao Nan cos of the higher chances. He agreed. There was a discussion on a Facebook group about school registration, and I learnt that to go one up, we could pay to be in the alumni. 

Pay. Just so kiddo gets into the right school. That sounded wrong. 

Education is so affordable in Singapore. Why do we need to pay more for it?? There were parents moving across Singapore, just so they could either go via the ex-student route or for location purposes. 

Just so kiddo gets into the right school. 

What is the right school? Don’t all schools in Singapore get the same access to resources? Don’t the teachers in the school come from NIE? Don’t the teachers in the school teach..because they want to? If it’s not the teachers..

then it is the social environment. He reckons that peer pressure plays a part in grooming his “potential scholar”. To put it bluntly, some schools are all Chinese students, the rest mixed. Then some are boys school, some are girls school. 

Huh. Let the kid make his own friends and figure out what life has in stored for him! I’m all for any school so that he can work out his capabilities on his own. As parents, we can support and guide him as best as we can. 

3) Choice of school based on school

Ah. Choose the school that is near my place cos it is a branded school? Or my ex-school is a branded school so let’s buy a flat in Marine Parade and move there! (just kidding, moving is never an option). 

There is an opportunity costs with brand schools. They have a reputation to uphold. The teachers may feel more pressure to teach the kids and the kids end up being stressed. 

Not the kind of childhood I would want Ollie to go through. (I hated studying.) Of course an education is important, but if pressured to perform, things could backfire. At this point, I am glad that Ollie has a passion to learn, but who is to say he might get sick of it?

Eduction just seemed to get more and more competitive over the years. Parent volunteering has rocketed, people moving, one even renting a flat just so his kid could get into the school. Parents have the choices, but make the right and informed choice. Sometimes, it is not all about being result-orientated. You may say that I have it easy cos I have the ex-student route to fall back on. Donald and I have discussed this over a couple of weeks and at the end of the day, will go by the location route. Our reasons being: 

1) I don’t want the kids to spend 30 mins on the road to school. This 30 minutes could be time well spent on something else. Btw, that is 30mins on school bus or public bus.. No way are we driving the kids to school. Toughen up the kids. 

2) We have perfectly decent schools in our area. Red Swastika is too hot, and will settle for Yu Neng instead. The other school is St Anthony’s Canossian Convent..which the boys don’t qualify. hahah. 

3) Yu Neng comes across to me as non-branded but yet, willing to go out for the students. This is gut feel ah, no concrete evidence hor. There are kids from all races, so yay! 

Again, this is of my own opionion and would love to hear from other parents about what they think and feel about this whole schooling thing. What do you reckon?

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2 comments on “Primary School Registration for Dragon babies

  1. Whether a school is “right” or not, depends on your expectations really. Some parents think “good schools” means lots of homework and accolades, but for some (like me) a good school is where my boy make friends, play sports, learn what he’s supposed to, and make memories. I would prefer a mixed school with all races (for diversity), and a school that believes in giving back to the community. There’s no right or wrong, just a difference in priorities. I’m not that academically inclined to be honest, so I don’t really expect my kid to be a doctor some day. 😛

    And of course, location is a huge factor because I’m lazy and travelling’s a pain, especially on rainy days and we don’t drive.

    • Oh that rainy day thing. Omg. I remembered the horrendous jams at school cos of drop offs. Now I shudder to think about the carbon footprint we leave behind for each drop off. Hahah.

      I’m with you about a school that gives back to the community, via their activities or through the students. End of the day, I’d hope kiddo graduates with good common sense than thinking he is above the rest. Pffpt.

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