School told to stop dual language programme or face action

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PETALING JAYA: Pressure is mounting on the head of the Vivekananda Tamil school here to stop implementing the Dual Language Programme (DLP) or risk legal action.

The DLP allows Science and Mathematics to be taught in English and is aimed at boosting English proficiency and enhance students’ future employability opportunities.

The Vivekananda school’s board of governors and parent-teacher association, together with a body called Child Information, Learning and Develpment Centre (CHILD), have jointly issued a letter of demand to the school to scrap the DLP.

K Arumugam, a trustee of CHILD, said the school had earlier been served a letter on March 31 to suspend the DLP as its implementation was defective and did not comply with the guidelines issued by the education ministry.

“However, the school continued with the programme,” he said.

Today, members of the board of governors, PTA and CHILD went to the school to serve a legal notice on the school headmistress.

“Should the school fail to respond to the notice within seven days, we will file a judicial review in the High Court,” Arumugam told FMT.

DLP was allowed to be implemented in Chinese and Tamil schools in the peninsula last year after the government abolished the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English programme.

Arumugam said the ministry’s guidelines specifically stated that the DLP must satisfy certain criteria, which included consent from parents in that school.

He said the school must also have competent teachers, adequate resources and the Bahasa Malaysia standard of that school must be higher or equal to the national average.

“In the case of Vivekananda Tamil school, the headmistress selectively implemented DLP despite objections from the board of governors and the PTA.”

Arumugam said he became an interested party as CHILD had conducted studies that showed Science and Mathematics were best taught in the mother language of the pupil instead of in English.

There are 525 Tamil schools and the government has authorised 46 such schools to implement the DLP but six later opted out.

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