Mainstream media reported last week that “parents hoping to place their six-year-olds in five of the most popular primary schools this year may face a ballot next week.” The 5 most popular schools mentioned in the article are CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, Nanyang Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School, Red Swastika School and Catholic High School.
What the media failed to mention is that none of the top five schools offer Malay or Tamil as a second language. So, students who wish to take Malay or Tamil as a second language won’t be able to do so at Nayang Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School or any of the three other most popular primary schools.
This is according to the Ministry of Education’s website, which lists that all five schools only offer Chinese as a second language.
It is curious why this isn’t considered newsworthy by mainstream media, which interestingly interviewed and carried a quote by a parent who successfully registered his daughter at Red Swastika School last week.
The parent, communications professional Ow Yong Weng Leong, said to the Straits Times: “The school offers Higher Chinese from Primary 1, so I hope it will help my daughter in becoming bilingual as she currently speaks English more.”
According to salary.sg, the 15 best primary schools in Singapore (ranked according to MOE statistics of how oversubscribed each school is) in 2016 were:
- Anglo-Chinese School (Junior)
- CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
- St. Joseph’s Institution Junior
- Methodist Girls’ School (Primary)
- Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School
- Fairfield Methodist School (Primary)
- St. Andrew’s Junior School
- Nanyang Primary School
- Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)
- Catholic High School
- Maris Stella High School
- Chij St. Nicholas Girls’ School
- Tao Nan School
- St. Hilda’s Primary School
- Ai Tong School
Of these 15 schools, only 8 offer Malay and Tamil as second languages. Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School, Nanyang Primary School, Catholic High School, Maris Stella High School, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School, Tao Nan School and Ai Tong School only offer Chinese as a second language.