Experts warn of co-locating kindergartens with popular schools

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If the Ministry of Education (MOE) were to situate a kindergarten together with a popular primary school, demand for the kindergarten would shoot up because of the benefit of priority access, said education experts.

They noted that MOE has to carefully consider the impact of co-locating kindergartens with sought-after schools, now that it has stipulated priority admission for children in the kindergartens to those schools.

Jalan Besar GRC MP Denise Phua, who heads the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, said: "Locating MOE kindergartens on the premises of currently popular primary schools such as Rosyth, and adding the new benefit of priority access, would make the popular primary schools even more in demand.

"It would render the dream of every school (being) a good and desirable school less achievable.

"If popular primary schools become even more popular because of this priority, then it would be harder to level the playing field."

In response to queries, MOE said that up to 2020, all its kindergartens will be inside government primary schools.

The locations of new kindergartens beyond 2020 will be announced at a later date, its spokesman said.

She added that in setting up the kindergartens, MOE and the Early Childhood Development Agency work together to identify estates with higher demand for pre-school places as suitable locations.

These include new estates and mature estates with upcoming housing developments.

Government-aided primary schools, such as Ai Tong School and Nanyang Primary School, will not be included in the ministry's kindergarten plans up to 2020. - AMELIA TENG