Archive for the ‘Dual Language Programme (DLP)’ Category

Education Ministry Approves Dual Language Programme For Another 126 Schools

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

News Pic

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid speaking at a press conference on the Dual Language Programme (DLP) in Kuala Nerang today. — fotoBERNAMA by Noraini Ahmad

PADANG TERAP, Jan 5 (Bernama) — Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid today announced that his ministry had approved another 126 schools across the country to implement the Dual Langauge Programme (DLP) this year.

Mahdzir, who is also Padang Terap MP, said the approval was given as the schools concerned had met all the criteria outlined by the ministry to implement the programme.

“Last December, we received a total of 214 applications to implement the DLP, and after an evaluation, only 88 schools had been given approval.

“Today, I would like to announce that the remaining 126 schools have also been given approval to implement the DLP,” he told reporters after visiting the family members of teacher Md Zain Saad who died of kidney failure on Dec 29, at the Kampung Baru Public Housing in Kuala Nerang here, today.

Mahdzir said an application would be approved when a school fulfilled the four main requirements, namely, having adequate resources, the readiness of the school’s principal and its teachers, parental support, as well as the school’s achievement in the Bahasa Melayu subject.

Mahdzir said the latest round of approvals showed that the total number of schools implementing the DLP, which began in 2015, was 1,429 schools.

“We are confident that schools which have opted to run the DLP can implement it well, because it shows that the schools’ administration as well as the students’ parents are ready, and want to implement the programme.

“Every year, there are more applications to run the DLP, so this shows that it is in high demand, especially from parents who know how important it is for their children,” he said.

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DLP will go on, says ministry

Saturday, January 6th, 2018
Important info: A girl browsing through the DLP textbook for primary school pupils at a bookstore.

Important info: A girl browsing through the DLP textbook for primary school pupils at a bookstore.

PETALING JAYA: After several days of uncertainty over the fate of the Dual Language Programme (DLP), the Education Ministry has clarified that the programme stays – much to the relief of many parents and schools.

The ministry said in a statement that there was no change to the DLP policy; in fact, 88 “new” schools will be added to the list, bringing the total number of schools offering the DLP to 1,303.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamala­nathan said the DLP is “a permanent feature of our education system”.

He said the disruption in the launch of this year’s batch of DLP schools came about because the ministry needed time to finalise new guidelines regarding the programme.

“The ministry is committed to ensuring the success of this programme.”

Kamalanathan said the baseline study of the programme had been proven successful.

The Star frontpaged the issue since a blog run by a “Cikgu Nurul” alleged on Monday that the programme, which allows students to study Mathematics and Science in either Bahasa Malaysia or English, was apparently shelved, upsetting many parents and schools.

The ministry stated that only Year One and Form One classes of the 88 “new” schools would be able to offer the dual language.

Previously, newly-approved primary schools could also have Year Four DLP classes.

The current 1,215 schools will continue to run the programme.

The ministry’s annual report for 2016 said three-quarters of DLP students were at or above the target level of the Common European Frame­­work of Reference for Languages – a guide developed by the Council of Europe to gauge foreign language proficiency.

“In the long term, (DLP) will definitely be a key instrument in reaching the nation’s Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 target of making our children competent and competitive at a global standard,” Kamalanathan said.

Schools must have written consent of parents, enough qualified teachers and classrooms, and a score above the National Grade Average in Bahasa Malaysia before they can apply for the DLP.

It is offered to Year One to Year Six pupils, and Form One, Form Two and Form Three students.

Since Monday, there has been much drama over a purported statement on the blog, which alleged that the sudden postponement of the programme had raised concerns in schools that have implemented the DLP.

Parents who had bought books and prepared their children for DLP classes were upset, with many of them worried that their children would lose out in the end.

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126 more schools can implement DLP, says ministry.

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: The Dual Language Programme (DLP) is not only on track but is going strong with the Education Minister announcing that a further 126 schools nationwide have been added to the list.

This latest round of approval brings the total number of schools implementing the DLP to 1,429 since it began in 2015.

But on the ground, the controversy brews on with a lack of consensus on the matter.

Some parents and school board members of the SJK (T) Vivekananda here have lodged police reports against Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahman to stop her from further commenting on the issue.

A spokesman, R. Balamurali, said Noor Azimah’s opinions would be prejudicial to the case.

The judicial review was filed last September after the school’s former headmistress went against the board’s and Parent-Teacher Association’s decision not to implement the programme.

Balamurali said the case was set for hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court next month.

In an immediate response to the police reports, Noor Azimah said: “I think this is going to backfire on them and we are going to look good.

“Generally, people are supportive of the DLP,” she said, adding that no one was forced to study Science and Mathematics in English in DLP schools.

“Students have the option to learn in their mother tongue or in Bahasa Malaysia,” she pointed out.

Schools must have written consent of parents, enough qualified teachers and classrooms, and a score above the National Grade Average in Bahasa Malaysia before they can apply for the DLP.

It is offered to Year One to Year Six pupils, and Form One, Form Two and Form Three students.

For several days this week, there was uncertainty over the fate of the DLP until the ministry clarified that the programme would stay.

Earlier yesterday in Padang Terap, Kedah, Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the approval for the additional 126 schools was given as the schools had met all the criteria.

“Last December, we received 214 applications to implement the DLP, and after an evaluation, only 88 schools had been given approval.
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Only one Sabah school affected

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The expansion of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) which allows students to study Science and Mathematics in either Bahasa Malaysia or English has been postponed nationwide.

However, the decision would not affect the 63 Sabah schools that have already started introducing it since 2016 as part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s plan to reverse the decline in English proficiency among Malaysian students that is having serious implications on their employment prospects locally and abroad.

Only one school in Sabah has applied for implementation of the DLP for the current year (2018).

State Education Director Datuk Hjh Maimunah Hj Suhaibul (pic), when contacted, said she received a letter to this effect although the department had yet to receive the circular.

“There will be no perluasan (expansion) of the DLP which has been tangguh (postponed).

It is not known for how long the programme will be postponed.

“Which means for Sabah, there will be no additional school implementing the programme this year.

However, schools that have conducted the programme since 2016 will maintain the status quo,” she said.

According to Maimunah, Sabah has to date 63 schools (39 secondary and 24 primary) operating under the DLP since 2016.

In 2016, 19 schools in Sabah (12 secondary and seven primary) were selected for the programme’s pilot implementation, among 300 schools nationwide. By the end of that year, 14 more schools were approved for the DLP.

“A total of 23 schools are in the process of appealing and another 20 schools were proposed for the second round of implementation of the programme,” the Director was quoted as saying, adding that the numbers could change depending on whether the schools fulfilled the requirements such as availability of teachers trained in teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

A report in the Star said a statement on the postponement of the DLP purportedly from a state Education Department had been posted on a blog run by a “Cikgu Nurul”.

by Mary Chin.

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English medium is no small matter

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

The Ruler of Johor is advocating the return of English-medium schools. It’s a call that should be heeded.

IT was an innocuous enough question. “If you had the opportunity to move to another part of Malaysia, where would you choose to live?”

Simple, right?

There are many places in Malaysia one could choose to stay – in parts of Johor, Penang, Melaka, Perak, even Kuala Lumpur, if you like the hustle and bustle.

The question clearly said another part of Malaysia, not another part of the world. So, how did they get it wrong?

I find it hard to sympathise with the students who misread the question but it does raise a question about the level of English understanding in the country – and the teaching of the language in our schools.

It’s a sad fact that the language has been on a steep downhill path for years. Our schools, our teachers, and even those in tertiary education seem to have abandoned the language. Remember “Scissor’s Salad”? Or “clothes that poke the eye”?

Recently, we in The Star designed a test for would-be sub-editors and drew up some homonyms – words like defuse/diffuse, aural/oral, cannon/canon, lightening/lightning, even the ever-so-common stationary/stationery – and asked interviewees to write sentences that would highlight the difference in meaning.

Many were left stumped. These were degree holders in English or English literature.

For those of us who drew up the test, it was an eye-opener. And very saddening.

We grew up in an age when English was spoken as comfortably as was Bahasa Malaysia and our mother tongues. We could switch from one to the other without the slightest hitch. Even the Hokkien dialect was part of the retinue.

Which is why I believe that the Sultan of Johor is right in his call to bring back the English medium of schooling.

Soon after his call, a survey found that 82% 10 Johoreans agreed to the return of the English-medium government schools. That’s more than eight out of 10!

The Ruler told The Star that the level of English among the people was deteriorating and something needed to be done to stop the rot.

The support has not only been from the Johoreans.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has picked up the cudgel in the matter.

He says English-medium schools should be set up to help the younger generation master the language.

Being fluent in English, the world’s lingua franca, will allow young Malaysians to compete in the global job market, he says.

Employability is now a big thing. Mastery of the language gives the young ones a competitive edge over others.

Let me make one thing clear. No one is advocating the relegation of the national language. That would be wrong.

Every Malaysian must be fluent in Bahasa Malaysia.

The national language is the glue that binds us all as one people, under one flag. Our mother tongue gives us our identities and reminds us of our roots. But English is the tool that will take us out into the global village and allow us to stand tall.

That global village is getting smaller by the day. Soon, there will be no place to hide.

Many groups like the Parent Action Group for Education have urged for the return of the English-medium schools. If fact, they have been doing it for some time, now. But it will be easier said than done.

Most of the teachers in our schools are themselves products of an education system that gave scant regard to English. They first need to be retrained to teach the language – and in the language.

An English-medium school will see many subjects being taught in English. Having spent my formative years in an English-medium school, I can vouch for them. They produce well-rounded students. At least they did, thanks to the teachers then.

There will be a dire need for teachers of the old school, the type who dedicate their lives to the education of the young. Those were teachers who spent countless hours making sure their charges were well-equipped to take on the world, the type of teachers who are remembered by their students even after a lifetime.

by Dorairaj Nadason
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Don’t forget the rural kids

Monday, November 13th, 2017
SJK (T) Simpang Lima pupils in the DLP class are all ears during a science lesson.

SJK (T) Simpang Lima pupils in the DLP class are all ears during a science lesson.

THE DLP ensures that children have access to the best learning experience, notes Universiti Malaya (UM) Faculty of Languages and Linguistics Assoc Prof Dr Jariah Mohd Jan, but it’s crucial that teachers – especially those in rural schools, are well-trained.

Advising teachers not to be discouraged if their students are more proficient than them in English, the deputy dean of undergraduate studies says there’s always room for improvement.

“There will be some students who think they’re smarter than you – especially those who are from top urban schools. It’s alright. Admit that you have limitations but show them that you’re trying your best to share your knowledge with them. Prove that you’ll go the extra mile for them.”

Teachers who aren’t up to par, however, must go for training. Schools are responsible for making sure that their teachers get the assistance they need to become educators who are abreast with the latest methodologies, and teaching aids.

“Rural students can excel with the DLP, but they need more encouragement and the opportunity to participate in the programme.

“In rural DLP schools, we need teachers who are better trained in dealing with students who may not be as proficient as their urban counterparts. Even if they have access to the Internet, they may need to learn how to use it.”

There have been cases, she shares, where rural teachers who speak good English find their command of the language deteriorating because they are using it less, and at a more basic level.

Highlighting how urban students benefit from exposure to workshops, talks, and interactions with industry people, she says these also help motivate them to speak English.

Exposure to the language is key to improving, she feels. The DLP gives students more opportunities to speak, she says, explaining why students in such classes are doing better in the language.

The DLP, she insists, doesn’t suppress or threaten other languages. It complements other language initiatives.

SMK (P) Sri Aman principal Misliah Kulop agrees.

Despite English being the main language of communication at her school, she stresses that school’s Bahasa Malaysia (BM) performance in the SPM is much higher than the ministry’s national target.

“Our students are more comfortable speaking in English but they are proficient in BM. All our formal events are in BM. It’s a compulsory pass in the SPM. We’ll never neglect it.

“But our vision is to be a high performance school of international standards. We want to mould leaders who can interact with the world confidently. We need English for that.”

Parent S. Easy, 48, says learning a language, and learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, which is based on theories, are two different things.

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Success with the DLP

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Three hundred Dual Language Programme (DLP) schools have quadrupled to over 1,200 in one year. Response is overwhelming – and voluntary. StarEducate speaks to stakeholders about the DLP’s success, and its future.

SMJK Kwang Hua was among the first to apply for the Dual Language Programme (DLP). One year on, the school’s principal, Law Choon Lee, says it was a sound decision.

The parents, teachers and board of directors, were unanimous in wanting the programme, he says.

There hasn’t been a complaint since. Now other parents are trying to get their children into the school because of the DLP, he says.

Although their primary lessons were in Mandarin, they’re able to cope. The medium of instruction is not an issue. It’s how hard you are willing to work. Even those not in the top classes can keep up after a short adjustment period.

He hopes to see more DLP-trained teachers.

“We must continue with the DLP. It’s the way forward and for the good of our children. When these students continue their tertiary education, everything will be in English. There is so much content on the Internet that they can use, and almost all of it is in English.”

The rise in demand, says Universiti Malaya’s (UM) Language and Literacy Education department head Assoc Prof Dr Juliana Othman, could be due to more schools being ready for the DLP.

When the programme was introduced last year, it was only made available in high performance schools where the majority of students speak good English, and the facilities are readily available, she says.

“One year down the road, more schools have the necessary resources, more books have been translated from Bahasa Malaysia (BM) to English, and more teachers have been trained to teach math and science subjects in English.

“These factors, coupled with a growing number of parents who value English medium instruction, have led to the growing number of DLP schools,” she offers.

Programme effectiveness

The DLP, she says, may facilitate the learning of English, but it’s “too strong a claim” to credit the DLP for students performing better in their English tests.

“Did all the DLP students sit for the same English test? If they didn’t, we cannot conclusively say that the DLP has led to them doing better in English because the standard of the tests would vary in the different schools.

“There are many reasons why students perform better. These include greater motivation, extra tuition, their environment, family encouragement, and stronger teacher support. The DLP could just be one of the push factors,” she says, adding that more studies are needed to see whether DLP students did better in math and science subjects when they were taught in BM, Tamil or Mandarin, or after they were taught in English.

She says it’s important to be clear on the DLP’s aim. Is the goal to give students more access to math and science reference materials, which are mostly in English, or is it to improve language proficiency, she asks.

“If the aim is to improve general language proficiency, then we should be looking at the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP), not the DLP.

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Better English in DLP schools

Monday, November 13th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Despite its controversial start, the Dual Language Programme (DLP) has proven to have improved students’ command of English.

Statistics from the Education Ministry showed that between 18% and 95% of students in over 1,200 primary and secondary DLP schools have improved their grades in the subject.

Three-quarters of these DLP students were at, or above, the target level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – a guide developed by the Council of Europe to gauge foreign language proficiency, the ministry stated in its annual report of 2016.

Interviews with teachers and parents from the pioneer batch of DLP schools also attested to the higher confidence and proficiency levels of the students.

The DLP, which was announced during Budget 2016, allows selected schools to teach Science and Mathematics in English.

It is offered to Year One, Year Two, Year Four and Year Five pupils; and Form One and Form Two students.

There are now almost 40,000 of them under the programme nationwide.

Prior to its January launch last year, groups championing for the national language, Mandarin and Tamil have voiced their objection as they were worried that their language would be sidelined. But for now, headmasters and teachers have observed a higher level of English proficiency.

“Their vocabulary, grammar and speech have gotten better. I see it in their grades,” said SMJK Kwang Hua principal Law Choon Lee.

SMK (P) Sri Aman principal Misliah Kulop said the DLP had given students greater confidence.

“We have many foreign visitors coming and our students are sent out on exchange programmes and international competitions overseas often.

“They are more self-assured communicating with outsiders,” she said.

English teacher Azalina Ahmad said learning more subjects in English gives students more opportunities to use the language.

“Even those with a weak command of English are trying harder to be proficient. They aren’t shy anymore,” she said.

Another teacher, A. Maliswairy, said without the DLP, students would only learn English in language class.

“Now, students get equal exposure to English and Bahasa Malaysia,” she said.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim urged the Government not to do another policy “flip-flop” that could affect the students’ future.

The DLP, she said, had shown good results and was reaching its goal to have more English-proficient students.

“More time practising English hasn’t resulted in the deterioration of the other languages taught at schools,” she said.

The Performance Management and Delivery Unit, together with the Education Ministry’s Education Performance and Delivery Unit, ran an English Lab in 2015 that led to the creation of the DLP.

Both bodies are now involved in facilitating the implementation of the programme in schools.

Initially, 300 schools were identified for the pilot project when it started last year.

That number has since grown fourfold. As of June, 629 secondary and 585 primary schools – or about 10% of schools nationwide – offer DLP classes.
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More teachers being trained to meet DLP demand.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry is training more teachers to meet the increasing demand for the implementation of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) in schools.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan (pic) said that there were currently 4,782 teachers from primary and secondary schools nationwide who were qualified to carry out the DLP programme.

“On top of that, we are currently training 2,792 more teachers – 1,204 from primary schools and 1,588 from secondary schools. This shows that the ministry is ready to accommodate the increasing demand to implement the DLP,” he said in reply to Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (Amanah – Kuala Krai) at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Dr Mohd Hatta had questioned the alleged shortage of teachers who were qualified to teach in English and whether that had hampered efforts to introduce the DLP in more schools.

DLP is a programme of choice for schools that meet the criteria to fully use English in the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

To date, 1,214 schools nationwide have participated in the programme, with 394 of these being located in rural areas.

Kamalanathan said earlier that the ministry was conducting online courses for teachers to provide them with the proficiency and instructional skills to teach Maths and Science in English.

He added that textbook for these subjects had also been translated into English, while additional teaching aids had been distributed to all schools involved in the programme.

DLP was introduced in January 2016 to an initial 300 schools that met four main conditions of the programme.

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Students not forced to take DLP, says Kamalanathan

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dual Language Programme (DLP) is not being forced upon any student or school, maintains Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan (pic).

He said parents must give their written consent and the school must ensure there are enough qualified teachers and classrooms for the programme before they can apply for the DLP.

Schools that are under DLP will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Inform­a­tion and Communications Tech­no­logy, as well as Design and Technology in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil or Mandarin.

“The DLP is not forced upon people, and is in fact, democratisation of education,” he said after visiting SJK(T) Jalan Bangsar here yesterday.

He said this in response to protests by NGOs and Tamil language activists over the adoption of the DLP in Tamil schools.

The protesters claimed that the Tamil language education will suffer if English is used to teach those subjects.

Kamalanathan said that while the ministry respected their right to express their opinion, it noted that these groups had been misinformed on the issue.

He cited how SJK(T) St Joseph, Kuala Lumpur, had obtained the consent from parents of all its 36 Year One pupils before it embarked on the DLP.

“How can I stop the DLP in vernacular schools when these parents have requested for it?” he said, adding that there were 50 Tamil schools voluntarily im­­plementing the DLP this year for Year One and Year Four pupils.

More than 1,200 schools nationwide were using the programme after meeting the conditions set by the Education Ministry, he added.

“At no point will the ministry force anyone to take the DLP,” he said when approached by The Star.

On concerns that non-Tamil-speaking teachers will be teaching these subjects in Tamil schools, Kamalanathan said this should not be a major concern because even though the subjects may be taught in English, the teacher is still required to have the ability to explain matters in Tamil.

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the Education ministry rolled out the DLP after engaging with over 100 stakeholders, including PAGE.

As there were no Tamil secon­dary schools, she said the programme would benefit the children who would eventually have to adjust to learning STEM in English from secondary school onwards.

“If parents want continuity and easy transition for their children from primary education to secondary, then they should opt for English,” she said.


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