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

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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54 more Sabah schools on DLP list

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The standard of English among Sabah students appears set for a marked improvement with the Dual Language Programme (DLP) being expanded to 54 more schools for the 2017 school term which began Tuesday.

State Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul (pic) said 31 secondary schools and 23 primary schools were selected for the programme this year.

This brings the number to 73 schools, including 19 schools in the pilot batch in the 2016 school term.

“The programme is now more open in terms of its adoption, but the schools must apply and meet requirements first,” she said, during her visit to SM All Saints here. SM All Saints which has consistently achieved high scores, was shockingly left out of the programme at its implementation two years ago. The school had said then that it was not informed.

Maimunah only took over as Director last year.

Two other schools whose exclusion in the first round incurred the wrath of parents – La Salle Kota Kinabalu and SMK St Michael Penampang – were included this time round.

Under the DLP, schools are given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Information Technology and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

The requirements include, the school needing to have Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) nod.

According to an Education Department officer, Sekolah Menengah Agama Kota Kinabalu, which is one of the selected schools, may postpone the implementation as it had yet to receive the PTA’s approval.

Among others, the school also needs to have the facilities, manpower and the passing Bahasa Malaysia grades.

Maimunah said this year 27,626 pre-schoolers, 26,387 Year 1 pupils and 13,377 Form 1 students had registered for school to date, adding that the number may increase.

She had briefed all the district education officers on Monday to ensure that all students are adequately supplied with a chair, a table and a complete set of textbooks.

“Overall the schools have been well prepared for the start of the schooling session and there were barely any students roaming around when lessons started,” said Maimunah, adding that no schools were also closed due to serious disasters or incidences.

SK Rundum and SK Sumambu in Tenom, which were recently affectedly by a mudslide, also managed to clean-up in time for the first day of school.

Towards this end, she said an action committee comprising representatives from the Education Department and other agencies was set up in October last year to deal with natural disasters like flooding.

The committee is on alert for eventualities like flooding and storms especially in areas where such disasters have struck like Beaufort, Tenom, Kudat and Tawau, she said.

Maimunah also said life jackets had been provided to all teachers who had to travel by boat to their respective schools.

An allocation of more than RM200,000 has been made by the Education Ministry for the purpose of purchasing the life-saving equipment.

This followed the drowning of a teacher and the headmaster of SK Mantanani after their boat capsized in Kota Belud, last August.

“Since last month, we have been giving out the jackets to teachers who are stationed at schools in the islands, or those who have to travel via boat to reach school,” she said.

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Hope for 76 more Sabah schools

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Some 76 schools in Sabah are expected to be included in the next round of implementation of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) next year.

State Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul (pic) said 14 schools have been approved for the DLP programme as of October this year.

This is in addition to the 19 schools that were approved in the pilot batch this year.

“A total of 23 schools are in the process of appealing and another 20 schools were proposed for the programme,” said Maimunah, indicating that the numbers could change depending on the whether the schools fulfill the requirements.

Under the DLP, schools would be given the option to teach science, mathematics, Information Technology and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon earlier announced that 841 schools were expected to implement the DLP, but that the numbers had yet to be finalised as there are also schools appealing for inclusion in the programme.

The DLP made its way into Sabah schools on Jan. 4 this year with 12 secondary and seven primary schools were selected in its pilot implementation involving 300 schools nationwide.

Among pre-requisites include the school scoring above the National Grade Average in the Bahasa Malaysia subject, with the selection decided at the Education Department level.

The chairman of a missionary school board in Kota Kinabalu had questioned the selection process after finding out his school was excluded in the pilot batch.

Similar concerns have been raised by a number of politicians.

This was partly due to the school, La Salle, along with two others – St Michael’s in Penampang and All Saints in Likas – being shockingly excluded despite English being one of the main languages used in these respective schools.

In defence, the then Education Director Datuk Jame Alip said “La Salle did not meet the Bahasa Malaysia score, while St Michael’s was late in submitting its application and All Saints never applied for the programme”.

However, officials of these three schools said the exclusion came as a shock and All Saints, in particular, disputed the official version that was attributed to that school.

Under the 2016 Budget, RM35 million had been allocated to implement the DLP and the High Immersive Programme (HIP) as part of the government’s “Uphold Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthen the English Language Policy.”

The “soft landing” programme for students studying science and mathematics in English following the scrapping of, the PPSMI (the Malay abbreviation for the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English) in 2012 in favour of MBMMBI (Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening the English Language) ends this year – meaning the two subjects will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) in Form One next year.

Given this scenario, the introduction of the DLP as a pilot project in selected primary and secondary schools is seen as a lifeline for schools wishing to continue teaching science and mathematics in English.

Parents who want their children who are entering Form One next year to be taught in English for the two subjects are watching this development with keen interest.

According to a report in Sin Chew Daily, many secondary schools nationawide were flooded with calls from parents eager to find out whether these schools would teach science and mathematics in English, before enrolling their children.

When the government scrapped PPSMI four years ago, barring any parental objections, primary schools were allowed to continue to teach science and mathematics in English under the “soft landing” programme.

But the last batch of pupils covered by the “soft landing” programme were promoted to Form One this year.

As such, starting from next year, schools not selected for the DLP will have to teach science and mathematics in BM.

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‘DLP will not hurt Bahasa Malaysia’

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

THE Dual-Language Programme (DLP) is aimed at increasing the fluency of English among students, but will not jeopardise the standing of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan (pic).

The DLP allows students the option of studying several subjects in either English or Bahasa Malaysia.

Responding to a question from Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah-Kota Raja), he emphasised that the programme was voluntary and that concerned Malay language activists need not fear for the status of the national language.

“This programme is about increasing the fluency of English, but Bahasa Malaysia will not be neglected,” he said.

Schools have a choice whether to implement this programme and even then, they must fulfil four criteria – enough resources, a head who can implement the programme, requests from the parents and the same or better results than the national average in these subjects.

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Schools Not Forced To Adopt DLP – Kamalanathan

Monday, March 28th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) — Schools are not forced to adopt the Dual Language Programme but only carried out in schools that fulfilled the criteria, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said the programme to enhance Bahasa Malaysia and the English language will only be implemented in schools that applied for the programme.

“DLP will only be offered to schools that meet three criteria – proper resources, teachers who can teach in English and Bahasa Malaysia, and parents who are supportive of the programme.

“No school will be forced to adopt the programme as feared by some,” said Kamalanathan when answering Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS-Kota Raja) who wanted the ministry to explain in detail about the DLP programme.

Kamalanathan said the Education Ministry was always monitoring the progress of the DLP programme in schools and are ready to accept views and recommendations from various parties.

He said the programme had thus far been able to improve the command of Bahasa Malaysia and English among students.

Under DLP, schools will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, information Technology and Communication, and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.


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Schools can opt to pursue DLP

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA: The Dual Language Programme (DLP), which was announced in Budget 2016, is an optional programme for schools, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

“It is up to the school and the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) to decide whether or not to pursue the DLP,” he said.

The ministry, he said, was not pressuring any school to opt for the DLP.

Of the 300 schools picked for the project, several had rejected it, he told reporters after visiting the Federal Territory Putrajaya Education Office yesterday.

Currently, DLP will only be offered to national schools that meet three criteria – proper resources, teachers who can teach in English and Bahasa Malaysia, and parents who are supportive of the programme.

Under DLP, schools will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Information Technology and Communication, and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced that DLP would be offered in 300 pilot schools.

Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof had said earlier that schools wanting to be part of the DLP were welcomed to submit their application, even if they were not part of the 300 schools chosen for the pilot project.

The ministry, he said, had identified the 300 schools through an English lab organised by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).

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