AN education pressure group has questioned the Education Ministry's move to exclude Year 4 primary school pupils from the Dual Language Programme (DLP).
Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) said in a statement today that a press release issued by the ministry earlier appeared to indicate that Year 4 pupils this year would be forced to give up their DLP books, which had been issued last year.
It said a ministry circular released on December 3, 2015, granted schools that have fulfilled certain criteria permission run the programme for Years 1 and 4.
“For the first and second cohorts, who started DLP in 2016, and 2017 in primary schools, the schools would have had the expertise and experience to conduct the DLP classes for Year 4.”
It said this year’s Year 4 class would have been issued the DLP books last year, and parents would have bought some DLP workbooks based on the booklist circulated last year.
But the they are no longer allowed to proceed with the programme even though the schools have fulfilled the four DLP conditions set in 2015.
“So why are they still denied the option to proceed with DLP?" PAGE said.
PAGE questioned whether the ministry’s move to exclude Year 4 pupils was fuelled by a suit filed against the programme.
It said there was no need for the suit as the classes were optional.
Unlike the previous Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English, or PPSMI, DLP is voluntary.
Citing the case of SJK (T) Vivekananda, PAGE said the Parent-Teacher Association should have been supportive of parents who were for DLP.
"According to the DLP plan set in 2015, the first cohort of DLP schools would have achieved the status of 100% DLP schools by 2018 by having DLP classes for all levels from Years 1 to 6, and ready for them to proceed to secondary DLP schools.
"Parents just want the best for their children. The ministry should honour their guidelines intended for DLP and not cave in to parties which are not stakeholders in the first place."
The ministry earlier today had announced that the DLP would continue this yearin 1,303 schools nationwide, including an additional 88 new schools, for Year 1 pupils and Form 1 students.