Tamil schools still in DLP limbo

JOHOR BARU: Parents of five Tamil schools in Johor affected by the move to reduce the number of Dual Language Programme (DLP) classes are still waiting for a ‘win-win solution’ from the Education Ministry.

Representatives from the schools said that they had a meeting with state education, information and communication committee chairman Norliza Noh; state tourism, environment, and culture committee chairman K. Raven Kumar; and Johor Education department director Md Said Md Daimon on April 19.

“The state executive councillors and Johor Education Department finally gave us a chance to share our views on the issue.

“After listening to us, they said that the matter will be brought to the attention of the Education Ministry and that a meeting would be held after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.

“We are still waiting for a confirmed date for the meeting that was promised,” said Captain M. Palaniandy, a parent from SJK(T) Jalan Yahya Awal.

“Pupils have started their lessons for weeks now and any further delay may affect their studies.

“We really hope that the ministry will get back to us as soon as possible and that the outcome of the meeting will be in our favour,” he said.

In March, The Star reported that hundreds of pupils from five Tamil schools in Johor are in limbo after they were told that the DLP will only be available in one class for each school starting this year.

In previous years, the DLP – where pupils are taught Science and Mathematics in English – was available for all pupils in the five schools. These are SJK(T) Taman Tun Aminah, SJK(T) Ladang Rini, SJK(T) Jalan Yahya Awal and SJK(T) Masai here, as well as SJK(T) Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang.

Yesterday, SJK(T) Masai parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman K. Morilli said about 30 pupils have left the school due to frustration over the DLP issue.

“At the start of the semester, we received registration from 108 Year One pupils, but 30 of them have decided to leave and attend other schools.

“Many parents are frustrated over the matter as there is currently only one DLP class in the school while the two other classes are non-DLP,” he said.

SJK(T) Ladang Rini PTA chairman N. Suresh said that while there was officially only one DLP class in the school, teachers were also teaching other classes in both Tamil and English.

SJK(T) Jalan Haji Manan PTA chairman M. Venugopal said that for the time being, all 69 Year One pupils at the school are learning Science and Mathematics in both English and Tamil.

“We have decided to have teachers teach the pupils in both English and Tamil for the time being while we wait for a final say from the Education Ministry.

“An examination that was supposed to be held to decide which pupils would be in the DLP class has also been postponed until further notice,” he added.

A parent from SJK(T) Taman Tun Aminah, K. Pavithran Nair, said the results of a DLP examination held by the school last month have also been put on hold.

“The school decided not to reveal the results first and pupils are now learning Science and Mathematics in Tamil with a little bit of English.

“Since we are now still in the Hari Raya mood, perhaps we can give the ministry some time, but we hope that this matter will be resolved as soon as the festive season is over,” he said.

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