How far will you go to get your kid into a top school?
The Sunday Times reported that top schools like Raffles’ Girls Primary, St Hilda’s and Poi Ching School have increased their required volunteer contribution hours for Primary One placing from 40 hours to 60 hours.
Nanyang Primary has increased their volunteer contribution hours to 80 hours, double the guideline of “at least 40 hours” set by the Ministry of Education.
Although parents aren’t jumping with joy at the news, most still insist that they will do anything to ensure their child has a place in the school of their choice.
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Hours increased due to high demand
Primary schools receive up to 200 volunteer applications a year and out of those, a mere 30 are accepted. Schools have also promised to make better use of volunteers’ time, instead of confining them to duties like traffic marshalling and excursion chaperoning.
Volunteers can now look forward to lending a hand in long-term projects or major co-curricular activities.
Due to the highly competitive nature of Primary One placing, some parents have even signed up as volunteers in more than one top school, just to ensure they have a “back-up plan” in case they don’t get their first choice.
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Reasonable or ridiculous?
Stories of parents uprooting their families just to move closer to a top school, or parents making generous donations to increase their chances of getting the school of their choice are not uncommon.
Citing those examples, many educators argue that volunteering 60 to 80 hours of their time should be a breeze for parents. But what about busy working parents? Will the increase in volunteer contribution hours by a given top school work to their disadvantage?
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