Computerised balloting for P1 registration from this year

Parents will no longer have to gather in school halls to anxiously wait for news of their children's future in sought-after primary schools.

From this year, computerised balloting will replace the manual exercise.

A text message about the registration results and balloting outcome will then be sent to notify parents on the same day.

Computerised balloting has been used for years in admission exercises to junior colleges and polytechnics, and in postings to secondary schools.

The Education Ministry (MOE) said the new centralised process will help to streamline Primary 1 registration and make it more convenient for parents.

Those who need to ballot "are assured of an equal chance of admission into the school", MOE said.

There are seven registration phases for Primary 1, and balloting is usually done when the number of applications for a particular school exceeds the vacancies at each stage.

Parents will need to refer to the MOE website to find out which schools still need balloting at the end of each phase.

Parents like Mrs Cheryl Wong, 39, welcomed the change, saying it takes away the inconvenience of having to physically attend the balloting sessions, and the stress of facing a room full of other parents.

"There is still the stress of getting into a school, but at least you don't have to face peer pressure," said the freelance designer.

Separately, from this year, international students will need to submit an "indication of interest" form online, along with their supporting documents.

This can be done on MOE's Primary 1 website from June 5 to 11, which is ahead of the actual Primary 1 registration that begins in late June.

The MOE will notify applicants in October if they have secured a Primary 1 slot.