KUALA LUMPUR: More schools are expected to implement Dual Language Programme (DLP) – to teach Science and Mathematics in English – following its success, says Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
Chong pointed out the DLP, which had been implemented in selected schools, was optional and not a policy which all schools had to follow.
“Schools that wish to implement DLP must ensure that they have enough English teachers as well as facilities to carry it out,” he told reporters after launching Erican College’s corporate social responsibility annual project “Erican for Schools 2018” .
He added it would be pointless to force DLP onto schools which are not prepared as it would “create more harm than good”.
Despite its controversial start, the DLP has proven to have improved students’ command of English. Statistics from the Education Ministry showed that between 18% and 95% of students in over 1,200 primary and secondary DLP schools have improved their grades in the subject.
Three-quarters of these DLP students were at, or above, the target level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – a guide developed by the Council of Europe to gauge foreign language proficiency, the ministry stated in its annual report of 2016.
The DLP, which was announced during Budget 2016, allows selected schools to teach Science and Mathematics in English.
It is offered to Year One, Year Two, Year Four and Year Five pupils and Form One and Form Two students.
There are now almost 40,000 pupils and students under the programme nationwide.
Prior to its January launch last year, groups championing for the national language, Mandarin and Tamil had voiced their objection as they were worried that their language would be sidelined.
But for now, headmasters and teachers have observed a higher level of English proficiency.
The Performance Management and Delivery Unit, together with the Education Ministry’s Education Performance and Delivery Unit, ran an English Lab in 2015 that led to the creation of the DLP.
Both bodies are now involved in facilitating the implementation of the programme in schools.
Initially, 300 schools were identified for the pilot project when it started last year.
That number has since grown fourfold. As of June, 629 secondary and 585 primary schools – or about 10% of schools nationwide – offer DLP classes.
The schools must score high marks in Bahasa Malaysia to qualify for DLP.
Parents must also sign a letter of consent before such classes could begin.