Tweak P1 registration rules to encourage bigger families

Tweak P1 registration rules to encourage bigger families

When the Government first announced in the 1970s its Stop At Two policy and linked it to Primary 1 admission priority, many mothers underwent tubal ligation after having their second child so their children could get ahead of the registration queue. Not surprisingly, many then enrolled their children in the so-called "top" schools.

The policy was very successful in controlling the birth rate.

Today, despite various incentives to increase the birth rate - such as the Baby Bonus and enhanced tax relief, among others - the success rate has been relatively low. Younger parents may not think it is worthwhile to have more children or may find the current incentives insufficient.

I suggest that parents with three or more children should be allowed to enrol their children in any primary school of their choice under Phase 2A(1), which is currently for children whose parent is a former pupil and a member of the alumni group.

For parents who already have three children or more, any of their children who is enrolling in primary school this year should be made eligible for admission under Phase 2A(1).

The country's target replacement rate of 2.1 can be met if more couples have three children or more.

Kan Mun Leong

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