KUALA LUMPUR: The statement by the Education Ministry yesterday has raised new questions on whether the Dual Language programme (DLP) for Year Four students is discontinued this year. Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said Year Four students this year might have to give up their DLP books if the programme was discontinued for them. She said this would be a loss to the students even though the schools had fulfilled the four DLP conditions set in 2015.
“So why are they still denied the option to proceed with DLP? “Have the current Year Four at selected DLP schools been made sacrificial lambs to satisfy and pacify the anti-DLP groups or those planning a lawsuit against the ministry? “DLP is not forced onto those who do not want the programme, and they can choose the non-DLP classes.
“There is no need for lawsuits if the parties who disagree with DLP have the option to go to the non-DLP classes,” she said. It was reported that based on the ministry’s DLP circular on Dec 3, 2015, DLP was granted to schools which fulfilled certain criteria with the choice given to Year One and Four in primary schools. For the first and second batches, who started DLP in 2016, and 2017 in primary schools, the schools would have had the expertise and experience to continue the DLP classes for the Year Four. The DLP books would have already been distributed to the 2018 Year Four last year, and parents would have bought some DLP workbooks based on the booklist circulated last year. Azimah said the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) in DLP schools must honour and support the demand by parents who wanted DLP and not be an obstacle to students. “In the case of SJKT Vivekananda, PTA should have been supportive of parental choices,” she said.
Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim says Year Four students this year may have to give up their Dual Language programme (DLP) books if the programme was discontinued for them.
She said according to the DLP plan set in 2015, the first batch of DLP schools would have achieved 100 per cent DLP schools by 2018 by having DLP classes for all levels from Year One to Six, and the students were ready to proceed to secondary DLP schools. “The ministry should honour their guidelines intended for DLP and not cave in to parties which are not stakeholders in the children’s education.
“Be true to the principle of the Education Act 1996 which states that, ‘pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents’ and do it sincerely,” she said.
Meanwhile, National Parent-Teacher Association president Associate Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Ali Hassan had questioned on the overall percentage of DLP implementation in schools. “We want to know how much more reservation is there for DLP? “How far has the programme improved students’ English proficiency in the city and rural areas? “We welcome the initiative by the ministry but if the DLP has shown a positive impact on students, we want this programme to be implemented in all schools. “We do not want a gap especially for schools in the rural areas.
“When we talk about improving our education system, there should be no option and must be implemented at all. “From what I have learnt, the English proficiency in the country is still low… so in this case, don’t they think they should improve English subject in schools?,” he said. He said the education system in most other countries which offered learning of extra languages designated specific language classes subjects and not through the teaching of Science and Mathematics.