Private school not accepting new students due to MoE circular

I was informed recently by a private school that my daughter’s application to the school was rejected because of a Ministry of Education (MoE) circular stating ‘any children born after December 31, 2017, will not be able to go to school in 2021 but instead in 2022’.

This would entail that my daughter would be going to school a year late (by then she would be four). This was also confirmed by our colleagues with their child’s application also rejected.

The question is, how come the circular was not shared to us parents or the public, similar to how other ministries share their circular or policy on their website or other media platform?

I find it quite ironic because MoE’s strategic plan reiterates equipping citizens with 21st Century knowledge skills to be future ready from a young age.

There is this Malay saying “melentur buluh biar dari rebungnya” or strike while the iron is hot.

The writer asks whether the Ministry of Education would reconsider changing its policy and process as more new students who initially were supposed to enter school from 2021 will be having problems in catching up with the technological advancement and 21st Century knowledge and skills compared to when they are supposed to be in school a year earlier

If MoE would want to standardise or harmonise the entry requirement for both public and private school, then the MoE should also adopt the best practice held by private schools.

But if the underlying problem every year is that new students are unable to enter school because there is no slot for them and have to enter the following year, by postponing early entry for young age, this is a temporary solution and not a permanent solution.

Perhaps, the MoE can further explore changing the process of entry school (ie private school will usually require parents to register their child two years before their entry to secure their slot).

Some private schools also welcome parents to register their children with the school when they are a few months old.

It is entirely not the fault of the school. It also goes back to the parent as to why the parents did not register their children early so their children will also benefit from learning the 21st Century knowledge and skills.

I hope the MoE will reconsider changing its policy and process as more new students who initially were supposed to enter school from 2021 will be having problem in catching up with the technological advancement and 21st Century knowledge and skills compared to when they are supposed to be in school a year earlier.

Sleepless Parent