GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy (pix) today told the Education Ministry to abolish the Dual Language Programme (DLP) where schools are allowed to teach Maths, Science and Information Communication Technology (ICT) subjects in English.
He said the DLP may erode the character of vernacular (Chinese-type and Tamil-type) schools in Malaysia.
He said a 1958 Unesco study showed students benefited from being educated in their mother tongue.
He said the performance of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the 2016 UPSR were on par with national schools (sekolah kebangsaan) and questioned the need for DLP.
"I urge the Education Ministry to abolish the DLP and to take alternative steps to improve the command of the English language among students," he said in a press conference today.
His call was also echoed by Penang Tamil Writers Association treasurer K. Krishnasamy who feared the usage of the Tamil language in DLP schools will be reduced.
He said the usage of Tamil was currently at some 67% in Tamil primary schools and claimed usage will reduce to 54% if DLP was introduced.
"The DLP is not suitable for vernacular schools but may fit the needs of national schools," he said.
The DLP was introduced as a pilot project at 300 schools nationwide in 2016 under the Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening the Command of English (MBMMBI) policy.
The MBMMBI was introduced after the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics (PPSMI) was abolished in 2012 after it was implemented in 2002.