THERE have been debates on parents doing voluntary work for schools and whether it would guarantee a place for their children in the school.
I face an even more bizarre dilemma.
I studied in a relatively well-known primary school and I have the intention of enrolling my child at my alma mater.
However, it is quite a distance from our home, and the journey on a school bus would take at least one hour each way.
For a young child, that can be quite tiring, considering that the time spent travelling could have been better used in other ways, such as having more time to sleep or eat.
If I choose to enrol my child in a nearby neighbourhood school, I can only do so in Phase 2C, which, according to the Ministry of Education, is "for a child who is ineligible for or unsuccessful in earlier phases".
There are four phases before Phase 2C.
Parents of foreign nationalities, who are more proactive and seem to have more time, can easily contribute 60 to 100 hours of volunteer work at the school they hope to get their children into. This would qualify them in the earlier registration phases.
Other Singaporean parents, like myself, may not have the time to volunteer and, as a result, our children lose out to them.
It is indeed an early reminder to our young that competition starts early - at six years old, to be exact.
Mr Darren Chong Kim Hwa
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