The “Good School” Effect

Singaporean parents are well-known for their singleminded determination to send their children to the best possible school they can – whether it means renting/buying a home within 1 kilometre of the preferred school, joining a clan or church, or performing random menial tasks like directing traffic, washing fish tanks or juggling chainsaws blindfolded.

Any local mother past her first trimester is likely to be able to tell you what the various Phases of the Primary One Registration Criteria involve, and that for schools with oversubscriptions at any particular Phase, priority is determined by the proximity of the child’s home to the school.

For popular schools like Nanyang Primary School and Raffles Girls Primary School, the available slots are usually fully taken up by Phase 2A. And yet even so, I still encounter many a parent looking to buy property “near SCGS/Nanyang/MGS/RGPS/etc” in the hopes that it might enhance their chances of scoring a spot for their child.


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