Monday, September 10, 2012

MOE ensures no child will have to travel long distance for school

SINGAPORE: Though not every child can be admitted to their parent's preferred school, the Education Ministry (MOE) ensures there are enough places on a regional basis, so that no child will have to travel a long distance to his or her school.

Senior Minister of State for Education, Lawrence Wong, said this in response to suggestions from MPs that the Primary One (P1) registration framework be tweaked to ensure children get a school that is within the proximity of their home.

Member of Parliament for Mountbatten SMC and chairman of the GPC for Education, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, said: "Would the Ministry of Education consider making changes to the P1 registration scheme such that children under phase 2A, which is considering parent's ties, should not get priority to a primary school unless they live within a reasonable proximity to the school?"

MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, said: "For non-gifted schools, would MOE consider higher allocation to those who live within one kilometre so they have a higher chance and a shorter distance to travel to schools for the kids?"

Senior Minister of State for Education, Lawrence Wong, said: "There are also concerns raised, that if you were to give even more priority, what would be the impact on property prices for example? Would that then force out more parents who may not be able to afford living within that area? Would that be a fairer way of allocating? There are different considerations which we have to weigh. It's complex, it's not going to be resolved just by tweaking formula alone. The best long-term solution or the best approach in terms of looking at this issue, is not just in terms of tweaking the Primary One formula but really in investing resources so that every school is a good school."

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