By Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim
We refer to the education ministry’s press statement on Dual Language Programme (DLP) dated Jan 4.
We question the rationale behind the omission of Year 4, 2018 cohorts from the programme of the 1,303 selected DLP schools in 2018.
Based on the ministry’s Dec 3, 2015 DLP circular, the programme is granted to schools which have fulfilled certain criteria needed to run it, with the choice given to Year 1 and Year 4 in primary schools.
For the first and second cohorts, who started DLP in 2016 and 2017, the primary schools would have had the expertise and experience to conduct DLP classes for Year 4.
The DLP books would have already been distributed to the 2018 cohort Year 4 last year, and parents would have bought some DLP workbooks based on the booklist circulated last year.
It seems from the Jan 4, 2018 press statement, the Year 4 would have to give up their DLP books.
They can no longer proceed with the programme even though the schools have fulfilled the four DLP conditions set in 2015.
So why are they still denied the option to proceed with DLP?
Have the current Year 4 of the selected DLP schools been made sacrificial lambs to satisfy and pacify the anti-DLP group or those taking a lawsuit against the ministry?
DLP is not forced onto those who do not want to pursue the programme, and those who oppose it can go ahead with non-DLP classes.
There is no need for any lawsuit if the parties who disagree with DLP have the option to go to non-DLP classes.
The parent-teacher association (PIBG) in DLP schools must honour and support the demand by parents who want DLP and not be an obstacle to students.
In the case of SJK(T) Vivekananda in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, the PIBG should have been supportive of parents’ choices.
According to the DLP plan set in 2015, the first cohorts of DLP schools would have achieved the status of 100% DLP schools by 2018 by having DLP classes for all levels, from Year 1 to Year 6, and ready for them to proceed to secondary DLP schools.
Parents just want the best for their children.
The ministry should honour their guidelines intended for DLP and not cave in to parties which are not stakeholders in the first place.
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.
Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim is chairman of Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE).
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.