PETALING JAYA: An education activist who has been advocating for the dual language programme (DLP) is disappointed that no allocation had been set aside in the 2023 budget.
Mak Chee Kin of the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education said: “It is a bit upsetting especially since there is demand for it. A special allocation should have been given to boost the programme.”
The DLP allows for the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in English. Mak said setting aside funds for the DLP would have been an opportunity to encourage more schools to opt for the programme and train teachers.
The 2023 budget provided the education ministry with the highest allocation of RM55 billion, which includes RM1.2 billion to repair 380 dilapidated schools and 400 dilapidated clinics.
Mak said it was good news that dilapidated schools were getting immediate attention, however, he hoped that the funds would be disbursed directly to schools based on their needs.
“The money should go straight from the ministry to the schools. Cut out all the unnecessary bureaucracy,” he said.
Parent Action Group for Education president Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the budget was silent on the training and retraining of teachers, a matter which was crucial to the education system’s success.
“We hope that the education minister Fadhlina Sidek will delve into what is lacking among the teachers, especially where students are concerned as they are being prepared to face the digital economy,” she said.
National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Fouzi Singon said the union was satisfied with the allocation, an increase of RM2.6 billion from 2022.
However, he said the budget had failed to mention an allocation for the training of teachers as well as the addition of new or substitute teachers in schools.