Updated 20 Feb 2019. I’m back after half a year of rehabilitation. Thanks for all the well wishes.
I’m in the process of redoing the Primary One Registration for 2018 due to my absence and have had much help from my friends and colleagues.
The first thing is the Birth Rates vs Vacancies chart for this year, 2019. Parents are often concerned about the competition for places or vacancies available for the Primary One Registration in June. Traditionally, the birth rate peaks during the Year of the Dragon. For the convenience of parents, we have mapped Singapore’s birth rate data for the years 2001-2013. Please note that the Birth Sign refers to that of the child due for registration that year, not the sign for the year. So while this year, 2019, is the Year of the Pig, it is for registering children born in the Year of the Snake. Our data is from the Department of Statistics.
As you can see from the diagram, there is a marked difference between this year (2019) and twelve years ago in 2007. There is a drop of up to 1731 total births despite the government opening up the doors to foreigners for foreigners (https://www.population.sg/population-trends/demographics). This shows that there is still insufficent locals for Singapore’s primary schools. The percentage of non-Singaporeans to Singaporeans (PRs+foreigners) is 38% back in 2017.
What is interesting is that from 2017 onwards, the number of places offered by MOE is LESS than the total number of child births! This could mean that more children born in Singapore are now anticipated to study overseas. Or it could mean that MOE is restricting the influx of foreigners in Singapore’s schools. Several schools have been ‘merged’, reducing the total number of places available to candidates.
Citizens’ malcontent about the current state of affairs caused MOE to change its Primary One registration scheme to be more citizen-orientated less than a decade ago. Now, Singapore’s citizens get absolute priority in nearly all Phases of the registration process, leaving foreigners to pray for a place in Phase 3. Of course, if a foreigner has already got a child in primary school, the sibling gets to go to that school in Phase One if their ages differ by at most 6 years. Other than that, it’s really difficult for foreigners to get any placement at all.