Thursday, 7 July 2016

Parent-Volunteering at Primary One Registration

I volunteered my service as a parent-volunteer (PV) for Primary One Registration Exercise for Phase 2A1, the phase the alumni have paid a fee to join the alumni association to increase their chance to ascertain a seat at their school of choice for their children.

I arrived at the school library at 7.45am to be briefed on what I was supposed to do. My duty was to invite these parents to join the existing parent-volunteer group so that they would contribute towards the group by making payment of a one-time nominal fee and volunteering their services for different events if they have the time to spare. A handful of parents were already waiting at the door when I reached the school. Primary One Registration has nothing to do with first-come-first-serve but these parents were awfully early!

The registration process started promptly at 8am. 

The parents were given a number tag each and they would look lost when they come up to the second level. I would direct them to the waiting queue or advise them to wait around till their number was called.

While these parents were waiting for their number to be called, other parent-volunteers and I went around terrorising the potential parents of the school to get them to join the parent-volunteer group.

There were at least three Caucasian husbands who came along with their alumna wife. It was then that I realised where those ang moh children come from. I often wondered how Caucasian children manage to get into the school as it is not common for Caucasians to study in mainstream schools in Singapore, much less a Chinese-majority school.

Some mothers were a little worried as the number climbed to beyond 100. The alumni phase rarely sees such a large number. In fact, for Baby's school, this is the first time it exceeds 100. 

They were assured that their children would get a place in the school as there were more vacancies than the number of registered alumni.

Two hours into the registration process, I was tasked to help out with photocopying the documents for parents who did not have duplicated copies of their ICs, the child's birth certificate, immunisation certificate and report book or PSLE certificate.

I took fleeting glances at the years the parents were born in and they were mostly younger than I.

Most of the mothers were born in the 80s ie. 1980, 1982, 1983 while the fathers were born three to seven years older. 

One of the fathers produced report cards instead of a report book, jesting,"Now you know how old I am." 

A few parents were visibly agitated when I told them they needed to bring their report books or PSLE certificate when they had neither. They insisted that they already had the letter certifying that they were the alumni of the school so it should suffice. Seeing that they were not convinced, I advised them to ask the parent-volunteers nearer to the lady at the registration table if the letter alone would suffice and hear what they had to say.

True enough, an administrative staff came down later and told me that the parents must show their report book or PSLE certificate as 'relevant documents' to prove their connection to the school for the registration process even though they have the alumni association letter. Parents without them had to return with the documents by 4.30pm on the same day to complete the registration process.

By about 11am, I had finished photocopying the documents for the last parent. I waited around and continued my task of terrorising waiting parents to get them to join the PV group. 

The queue for the final registration at the computer was still long but I decided to leave at 12pm for lunch so that I could return to pick Baby up from school at 1.30pm.

Overall, it was quite an interesting event to participate in as an observer. I got to have a feel of the profile of the parents in the school and it was refreshing to have an immersion experience in a phase I did not experience, although 2A2 isn't all too different sans the alumni association letter. I also noted that most fathers were present at the registration process. One or two fathers were all by themselves. It dawned on me that William is a minority when it comes to fatherhood. 


Karmeleon said...

LOL - lucky never see ours. 1960s !!! We must be ancient then. hahahhahha. and with such a young child. :D

Rain said...

Hi Karmeleon,

*waves* You have a 6-year-old? But you must bear in mind that these parents are registering for their first child, not their fourth ;) Sometimes I also compare myself with those whose eldest child is of the same age as Baby and lament how ancient I am but just Coco alone is enough to put things in perspective.