Stop dithering and making excuses on DLP, govt told

stop dithering and making excuses on dlp, govt told

The education ministry has been urged to put an end to the debate on the Dual Language Programme at schools.

PETALING JAYA: A parents’ group has called on the government to stop dithering and making excuses when it comes to the implementation of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) in schools.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Noor Azimah Rahim said the programme should be reinstated in schools without the condition that one class be taught in Bahasa Melayu, as this was “what parents wanted”.

She also said that the move made sense when taking into account the state of English proficiency among students.

“Let’s revert to the original goals of the DLP before the English proficiency levels among students and those who are about to enter the workforce deteriorate even more,” she told FMT.

The debate over the DLP was reignited following a news report earlier this month, which has since been taken down, giving the impression that some schools in Penang were opposed to the use of Bahasa Melayu as a medium of instruction in itself.

According to Buletin TV3, the boards of directors and parent-teacher associations of 11 Chinese schools in Penang had voiced opposition to the additional condition in the implementation of the DLP that one class be taught in Bahasa Melayu.

Azimah, who has been one of the DLP’s strongest proponents, said the fact that parents enrolled their children in national schools was proof that Bahasa Melayu was being upheld as the national language.

She added that the DLP would strengthen the use of English, enhance scientific knowledge, and improve employment potential.

She also suggested that Putrajaya establish at least one English-stream secondary school in each state to increase the number of teachers for the subject.

“This would help produce quality English teachers. The majority of English teachers do not have a very strong command of the language as they studied in Malay-stream schools, where exposure to English only came from English classes,” she said.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession previously urged the education ministry to put an end to debate on the DLP by taking a firm stand on the matter.

This followed calls for the ministry to do away with the rule requiring primary and secondary schools offering DLP classes to have one Year One or Form One class teaching mathematics and science in Bahasa Melayu, regardless of parental preference.

Education minister Fadhlina Sidek, commenting on the DLP, said the ministry would not succumb to pressure from groups “who only want things their way”.

In a letter published in Malaysiakini, Fadhlina said it was important to remain objective when it came to the programme.

“Its implementation must adhere to the MBMMBI policy and work towards achieving the direction of the nation,” she said, referring to the Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English policy.

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