• Christina Chin, The Star

Has DLP been shelved?


PETALING JAYA: The Dual Language Programme (DLP), which allows students to study Mathematics and Science in either Bahasa Malaysia or English, has been shelved.

That is according to a statement purportedly from a state Education Department.

The statement has been posted on a blog run by a “Cikgu Nurul”.

The blogger claimed the sudden postponement of the programme has raised concerns in schools that have implemented the DLP.

However, efforts to get clarification from the Education Ministry were unsuccessful.

The proposed introduction of DLP in 88 additional schools nationwide will also be postponed until circulars and guidelines are issued, the statement reads.

“Cikgu Nurul” asked why schools and teachers were not informed of the move earlier.

“For how long will the programme be delayed? If teaching and learning of Maths and Science for Form One students are conducted in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) in the initial stages, will the lessons have to be repeated in English once it’s decided that DLP will continue?” she wrote.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan could not confirm the matter but said he was still checking.

A parent who asked to be known only as Hanim said she received a WhatsApp message from a teacher informing her of the postponement of DLP at her daughter’s school in Kuala Lumpur.

She was told that her Year Four daughter would be taught in BM for the moment.

“We were prepared and had already bought DLP books for my daughter.

“All we want is a clear explanation. I’m staying positive because they have only said it’s postponed and not cancelled,” said the mother of two.

Many anxious parents vented their frustrations on the “DLP Dual Language Program” Facebook page, asking if the rumoured postponement was true after Noor Azalina Arshad, 37, raised the issue yesterday.

When Noor Azalina’s husband contacted the headmaster, he was told the school had not been officially notified of the postponement.

“The headmaster decided to just continue with the programme.

“But what if a circular arrives next month? My daughter’s future is at stake, along with many others,” she said.

Parents who had bought books and prepared their children for DLP classes were upset. Many pro-DLP netizens were worried that there would be a flip-flop on the policy, resulting in students losing out.

Noor Azalina, whose daughter is in Year One, found out about the postponement from the blog.

“I was happy when I found out there was a DLP school in our district because I have been homeschooling her since 2016 to prepare her for Maths and Science in English.

“I’ve done a lot of work, from downloading worksheets to buying books from abroad.

“No words can describe my frustration now. Why now? Why after everything has been planned?” she asked.

If she had known that the programme would be on hold, the family would have moved to a city where there are international schools, she added.

“Now, I am worried that the programme may be scrapped.

“I didn’t get the chance to learn in English before. I don’t want my daughter to also be deprived of that opportunity,” she said.

Parent A. Vijayesvaran, 39, said the Selangor Education Department had informed him that the DLP would be put on hold from this year at SJK(T) Vivekananda.

“We were told that it was postponed because of a lawsuit against the ex-headmistress and ministry,” he said.

The DLP, which was announced during Budget 2016, allows selected schools to teach Science and Maths 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 students under the programme nationwide.

The Star

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