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.
The group wanted Noor Azimah to stop her comments pending a decision of a court action it has filed.
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.
“Today, I would like to announce that the remaining 126 schools have also been given approval,” Bernama quoted him as saying after he visited the family members of teacher Md Zain Saad who died of kidney failure on Dec 29.