Why tell us schools have not met DLP criteria now, asks parents

JOHOR BARU: Parents in the Tamil primary schools affected by a move to reduce the number of Dual Language Programme (DLP) classes are hoping that the Education Ministry will continue to work on the matter until a solution can be found.

SJK (T) Ladang Rini Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman N. Suresh said the ministry should not work on the matter midway without having come out with a workable solution.

“We understand there are some hurdles and the ministry is trying to solve them. It is indeed a complicated problem,” he told The Star. “However, this does not mean the issue should be solved halfway. There must be continuous effort from the ministry to see through this issue until the very end.”

On schools not meeting the criteria to carry out the programme, Suresh said the matter should have been brought up years ago, not abruptly and now.

“If the schools had indeed failed to meet the criteria, they should have been informed about it early on so the right actions could be taken to address the matter.

“The DLP classes have been carried out in the affected schools for many years.

“If this had been tackled from day one, we would not have seen the problem grow to this extent,” he said, adding that it was unfair to the students affected.

SJK (T) Jalan Haji Manan PTA chairman M. Venugopal said it was important that the ministry address the problem now before it gets out of hand.

“We are still waiting for a meeting with the Education Ministry, as promised to us previously. We really hope we can discuss the matter in depth,” he said.

“Currently, we are getting information on the ministry’s response from middlemen, including assemblymen, the media and the state education department,” Venugopal added.

“As we are not getting a response from the ministry directly, it is also difficult for us to convey important information and updates to concerned parents who are reaching out to us daily.”

A parent from SJK (T) Taman Tun Aminah, K. Pavithran Nair, said parents were merely asking for the DLP classes to be carried out as they were at the primary school level.

“We are not even demanding it be continued until secondary schools, but at least assist us in making sure primary school students could still benefit from the classes,” he said.

“We understand the DLP issue in secondary schools is a far more complicated problem and requires more time to be solved. What we are asking now is just for things to go on as they did previously, where the affected SJK (T) could carry out DLP in more classes.”

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

Previously, the DLP, where students are taught Science and Mathematics in English, was available for all students in the five schools – 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.

On April 19, representatives from the schools 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 to discuss the matter.

The representatives were promised a follow-up meeting with the Education Ministry after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday, but they claim they have yet to receive any updates.

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