The Straits Times forum recently featured a stressed parent volunteer who demanded the Ministry of Education (MOE) to guarantee a Primary 1 placement for her child. The parent complained how parent volunteers still have to undergo balloting even though they have “invested time and effort” to volunteer.
She also shared how some parents suffer from a lack of sleep, and some even waste their time and money shifting closer to the school after the parents starts volunteering. She feels it is unfair to these parent volunteers who have sacrificed so much.
However some netizens disagreed with this parent volunteer about having guaranteed placements. One of the cited reasons is the potential to put lower-income families at a disadvantage.
Netizens feel that more well-to-do families are able to commit time to volunteer as they can depend on a single-income stream. Wealthier families may also have extra perks such as having a helper or more flexible working hours.
Conversely, lower-income families may not have such privileges. For those “top schools” located in wealthier neighbourhoods, lower-income families do not have the option of moving nearer to these schools.
This problem of P1 registration has continued to plague Singapore’s education system despite assurances that “every school, a good school.”