Singapore Expats

No Vacancy for a Dependent Pass holder in P1 Public Schools!

Interested to get your child into a local Primary School? Discuss the opportunities here.
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hammadkkhan
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No Vacancy for a Dependent Pass holder in P1 Public Schools!

Post by hammadkkhan » Fri, 03 Sep 2010 3:55 pm

Hi People,
Have been reading the posts here for quite some time but posting for the first time. I am a telecommunication professional relocating to Singapore from New Zealand and my application for EP (along with DPs for my family) is already with MOM. I have got a lot of my questions answered just by flicking through the different topics but have found nothing on this one (except a small discussion in topic61642).

My son will be 6 in December 2010 and so is supposed to start his P1 in January 2011. Due to a late notice from my employer (internal job transfer) i have missed the annual P1 registration (not sure if i would have got a seat in Phase 3 even if i had applied for a place). I have contacted MOE and they have referred me back to the schools stating that they don't have any updates after the registration process is over. I have called schools but have been told to go back to MOE as they are full for P1 next year.
My office is on Chee Chai Road. I searched in Tampines and found quite a lot of good places to live close to work however when i started calling the schools, not a single one (and i mean not even "one") had one vacancy for my son. I called Bedok schools and the same response. I am on to Pasir Ris now. I am aware of the International Schools but would like my son to attend the local school because (1) i am here for a long term and want him to start in the system early and in a good institution and (2) good International Schools are definitely way too expensive for me.

Just wondering if i am missing a step or two here? Is there something that i am doing wrong? I am still in NZ landing in Sing in November while the family comes in in January. Do i need to be there to get something? or is it the case that my son wont be able to go to a decent local school because i am not a citizen or a PR of Singapore?

Confused and a bit stressed... Help Please!!!

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Post by fristromcan » Fri, 03 Sep 2010 7:56 pm

Not sure whether "decent" is the correct word, but certainly, some schools are more popular than the others. For the popular ones, even place for local are not guaranteed. Admission to school for foreigners is at phase 3, which by then, there will be no more space in the more popular schools.

I think your timing is not very good, as this year P1 registration exercise just finished. It might be easier when you get here in Nov, and make appointments to see the school(s) directly. Your Dec born son will probably be the youngest one in the cohort. Hope he copes well with the system here. Good luck!

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Post by hammadkkhan » Sat, 04 Sep 2010 5:58 am

Thanks for a quick response "Fristromcan".
At this stage i am a bit more worried about finding a school on the first place. I am sure he will cope given that most of his early childhood education is in an Asian education system very similar to Singapore.

When you say "more popular", are you referring to the MOE list of primary schools on their web site? They rank different primary schools in every zone according to the Study Awards, Character Building, Sports, and Best Practice. Do you mean that the schools on top in that list are the most popular ones or is it more subjective that just that?

Yeah you are right, he will be the youngest one in the gang :-)[/quote]

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Post by fristromcan » Sat, 04 Sep 2010 8:42 am

you may like to take a look at:

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/conte ... ng-history

Things should become easier when you are here. Maybe you can consider finding a place for him in the 2nd semester and moving him a bit later in the year?

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Post by carteki » Mon, 06 Sep 2010 1:20 pm

It may not be the answer you were looking for, but I had a friend bringing his kids over from Malaysia a while back. He could only get them onto the waiting lists which was stressful - then his PR came through and they were granted admission directly (no more waiting). Locals and PRs have priority to the public schools here (which is not a bad thing), so the best would be to just hang on as there probably is space.

hammadkkhan
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Post by hammadkkhan » Mon, 06 Sep 2010 2:04 pm

Hi Carteki,
Thanks for your response.

I very well understand what you are saying as the first thing that every single school asked me was if i was a citizen or a PR and once i told them i was neither, they shut me down.

The only issue is that if i am on a P1 (pretty sure i will be), i dont think applying for a PR and getting it approved will be as quick as it was for your malaysian friend. I think i need to wait a certain period of time on P1 before i can even apply for a PR. Dont know... :-(

If i may ask, would any one have any idea on how difficult it is to get a transfer from one public school to the other i.e. start with a school and go there for a term or two and then switch to the desired school if and when a vacancy becomes available???

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Post by Mad Scientist » Tue, 07 Sep 2010 8:14 am

OP

Have you look at the MOE website ?

http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissi ... tion/faqs/

I would be incline to come here first . Get your accommodation and work sorted Then go from there

Most schools will have a reservation list if you miss the phases.

There are some International Schools that does not cost an arm and a leg . You have to scout around on what you are looking for if going for local school fails. Look at the search button under the profile link.
Priorities are always given to locals, PRs for local school so you have to get over here first and by that time there will be vacancies available in some school . It may not be close by to your home or workplace.

Good Luck
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Post by elbi » Fri, 10 Sep 2010 11:38 am

you can call the MOE and ask for a list of schools that have places left. now that the registration process is over, they will have a better idea. of course, the schools may be a bit of a distance from chai chee; you then may want to consider living somewhere closer to the school than to chai chee.

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Post by Mad Scientist » Fri, 10 Sep 2010 12:14 pm

elbi wrote:you can call the MOE and ask for a list of schools that have places left. now that the registration process is over, they will have a better idea. of course, the schools may be a bit of a distance from chai chee; you then may want to consider living somewhere closer to the school than to chai chee.
HELLO !!!! have you cared to read my post, you are telling the same thing :mad:
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Post by tazz » Sat, 18 Sep 2010 10:26 pm

I actually called MOE last Thursday and was told there was not a single vacancy in any primary school for P1 students left, and to just contact schools and get on their waiting list. The schools I contacted refused to let us look at the school, stating security issues but said I could drop by to get my kid on the waiting list.

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Post by movingtospore » Fri, 24 Sep 2010 3:46 pm

This is the thing for foreigners trying to send their kids to local schools here - it is next to impossible, expect for the odd school in the sticks that nobody wants. The government changed the rules, making it extremely difficult to get your children into any school. Which of course is coming at the same time many companies are no longer paying school fees for International Schools. If I was you I'd push my employer hard to pay at least some of your school fees as you will be waiting a long time to get a spot in a decent local school.

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Post by ksl » Sun, 26 Sep 2010 12:11 am

We had this problem when our daughter was first old enough for P1, no school around would take her, because locals had first priority, then their brothers and sisters had priority before our daughter. We eventually got her in a school that specialises with foreign children with no problem. 6km away. Had to wait 2 years to get her in the school 50 meters away, and 1 year after PR status. Though I will say the first school, my daughter loved it there because of the mix of expat kids.

You will find a school, however you may have to travel some distance.

I actually don't agree with
a decent local school
, I believe they are all okay, its just that some schools try to attract top graders and have built their reputation around it, it doesn't mean that your Child will be any better or worse off at 6 years old. What it does mean, is the more money you pump into private tuition, makes it easier on the teachers, and more challenging to find good teachers that can do their jobs.

The effort is really on the parents and child rather than the teachers! So those that cannot afford it lose out.

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Post by madura » Sat, 02 Oct 2010 2:05 am

Urgh! Please look beyond grades when choosing a school!

A "decent" school for many locals is one which does well in the graduating exam rankings. It has no bearings on how well it develops the child in other non-academic areas.

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Post by boffenl » Mon, 04 Oct 2010 11:47 am

Welcome to the local school discussion! My daughter is also a December baby, and I waited for two hours (the school only had 13 spots available and I got #8) to register her in phase 3 3 years ago. The registration phase is tough even when you're "on-time". But I do know of at leats four other families who came into the school after the registration was completed.

MOE is correct--you will have to call all the schools to find a spot for your son. If they are claiming there are no more spots available (shocking I think!) then you'll have to make do on the waiting list.

Many have read my previous posts and know I am a proponent of the local system. My daughter (while the youngest in her class) is tops in English and Math--could be since we speak proper English at home and she is naturally mathematically inclined. It's a tough decision, and seems to be taking an enormous amount of your time, but honestly--putting my daughter is alocal school was well worth the effort.

Good luck on getting onto the wait lists!

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Post by anzac74 » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 5:16 am

Hi Boffenl,

I have just arrived to Singapore and I'm also more for the local school option. Unfortunately my daughter is not a native English speaker (just at basic level). Does this make it more difficult? I'm even considering not moving my family here if it all comes to an International School....

Regards

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