KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 30 Indian-based NGOs has set up a secretariat to investigate 47 Tamil schools that have claimed to have qualified for the dual language programme (DLP).
The NGOs’ spokesperson K Arumugam said the group wants the education ministry to revoke the DLP for Tamil schools.
“We want to know how the 47 out of 524 Tamil schools in the country qualified for the DLP when they have failed to meet the requirements that were set by the education ministry,” he said at a press conference today.
Arumugam said that in order for the schools to qualify for the DLP, they will had to fulfil five criteria.
He said the requirements are that the schools assess the competency of teachers, have adequate resources, get parents’ consent, schools acquire a GPS of 1.85 for the Bahasa Malaysia paper and they have the full consent of the schools’ parent-teacher association (PIBG).
“The secretariat has been in contact with the schools to check and see if they had qualified for the DLP.
“We found out that none of the schools had fulfilled the conditions.”
Arumugam also said they will be sending a memorandum to the education ministry this week calling for it to revoke the DLP.
“We also want to know how the education ministry approved the DLP for the schools.
“How was the vetting process done considering that over 90% of the children speak Tamil at home?”
Arumugam said the school children would suffer when the programme is implemented.
It was reported last year that schools in Malaysia which join the DLP programme will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Design and Technology in English or Malay.
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon was reported as saying DLP was expected to be implemented in 841 schools this year.
Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (Mipas) president Rajaretinam Armuggan alleged that DLP would further marginalise Indian students and wanted it to be cancelled.
“We want to call on the education ministry to investigate if the parents had asked for the DLP.”
He added that Mipas disagreed with the DLP and their stand is that primary education must be taught in the students’ mother tongue.