March 4, 2014

Registration for Primary One is Exhausting!

... and it truly is!

I was quite rudely awoken by monsieur Pachebal a few mornings ago, just when I was about to have a moment with Klaus Mikhaelson only to realise that staring back at me {... and at the freakish hour of five in the morning, mind you} is the fact that I'll be standing in line for a few hours, in the company of other equally sleepy parents, waiting for the gates of a school to open so we can register our kid for primary one.

Yup! It's that time in life where being a parent means you have to haul yourself out of your cozy warm bed at ridiculous hours of the morning to ensure that your currently ungrateful five year old will, in two year's time get accepted into a good school and hopefully, hop on the right path to a brighter tomorrow; one where she can afford to hire someone to stand in line for her for three hours to register her kid to primary one when the time comes. 

Right ... so after standing in line for three hours in four inch Christian Sirianos because my brain forgot to tell me to wear flats, I finally got my hands on these elusive bright green fluorescent papers. 

I call them elusive because if you're like me and did a whole lot of Google before, well ... be prepared for a whole lot of irrelevant staring back at you. It's not Google's fault; it's the state's fault. Other than Selangor, which has an online registration process that eliminates the "crazy standing in line at ridiculous hours of a working day" process, other states like mine has nothing and I really do mean nothing. The state's education portal is a mess and I cannot even find a smidgen of a paragraph that highlights the registration process. Frustrating being a Malaysian parent, isn't it?

So I did the next best thing; ask other mothers {aka my classmates and colleagues} who have gone through it before and here's what I summed up:
  1. Regardless of which month your child is born is, as long as he/she is turns five in the year - it is time to register him/her for primary one.
  2. Registration for all government school starts on the first Monday of March each year. Go early if your school of choice is a popular cluster school ... but if you can't make it, you can still register any time during office hours until the end of March. The only risk you take here if that the school's quota may already be filled up and your application will be declined.
  3. Acceptance Letters will be mailed out in August the following year. If you have not received yours by end August, you can check with the school you registered with beginning September.
Here's a basic list of information and documents I prepared and took with me, except number four - that I'll have to submit end of the year.
  1. Child's original and photocopy birth certificate. The school will stamp their stamp with a registration number {usually, your queue number} when you submit your forms.
  2. Photocopy of both parent's NRIC.
  3. Original and photocopy of any utility bill with your current residential address. Some schools {like mine} may not need this if the address on your child's birth certificate is the same as that on the bill, but always keep the option of an original and a photocopy open.
  4. Your child's kindergarten assessment results. If you child is in the first year of kindergarten, the school will allow you until end of the year to submit the report.
Other information you may need to prepare:
  1. Have both your husband and your office address and telephone number in hand; some schools may require this information - mine did.
  2. Also have your emergency contact's details on hand {full name, NRIC, address, home and cell phone number}, just in case. Again, this requirement varies between schools.
  3. Measure the distance from your residence to the school. If you forget, power up Google Maps on your smart phone, enter your home address and start the navigation sequence. You can get an estimated distance from there.
Hope all that helps! Now, I'm going to finish my report here in the office, head home and hopefully continue where I left off with Klaus ...