JOHOR BARU: The number of Dual Language Programme (DLP) classes in four Tamil schools in Johor have now been increased following months of discussions with relevant parties, says state education, information and communication committee chairman Norliza Noh.
She said the decision was made by the Education Ministry after careful consideration following several talks with Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) representatives, teachers and parents of five Tamil schools in the state that were affected by a move to reduce the number of DLP classes.
“After discussions about the number of DLP classes in all five schools, they have come to terms with the decision, which includes keeping the status quo for DLP classes of pupils in Years Two to Six,” she said at SJK (T) Taman Tun Aminah here yesterday.
As for DLP classes for Year One, Norliza said SJK (T) Taman Tun Aminah would now have five DLP and two non-DLP classes, SJK (T) Jalan Yahya Awal with three DLP and one non-DLP classes, SJK (T) Ladang Rini with three DLP and two non-DLP classes and SJK (T) Masai with two DLP and two non-DLP classes.
Meanwhile, SJK (T) Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang will remain having one DLP class and one non-DLP class for Year One pupils.
In March, The Star highlighted that hundreds of students from five Tamil schools in Johor were in a limbo after they were told that there would only be one DLP class for Year One children for each school starting this year.
Previously, the DLP, where pupils are taught Science and Mathematics in English, was available in the five schools.
Asked if the number of DLP classes will increase, Norliza said it would depend on the performance of the schools.
“The decision is for the 2023/2024 school session. The number of classes could be increased if the schools achieve good performance and adhere to the criteria by the Education Ministry for the programme.
“A few things that need to be taken into consideration as students taking up the DLP in primary schools must continue to be in the programme when they are in secondary schools and there is a limited number of secondary schools offering the programme.
“We also want parents to consider that there are some students who are not able to keep up with learning Science and Mathematics in English,” she said.
The decision received positive reaction from some of the PTA chairmen of the five schools.
However, some parents are still hopeful that the ministry would allow DLP classes in all classes in the five schools.
SJK (T) Masai PTA chairman K. Morilli said he was grateful to the state Education Department and the Education Ministry for allowing the schools to have more DLP classes.“It is a good compromise, and we are grateful that there is hope for more DLP classes.
“We need to also take into consideration that there are pupils from the B40 group that may not be able to attend English medium preschools and left out if forced to study in English,” he said.
SJK (T) Jalan Haji Manan PTA chairman M. Venugopal said that the school was hoping to get more DLP classes in the years to come.
An SJK (T) Jalan Yahya Awal parent, Capt M. Palaniandy, said some parents were disappointed and would continue pushing for all pupils to sit in DLP classes.
A parent from SJK (T) Taman Tun Aminah, K. Pavithran Nair, said parents of at least 150 out of the 270 pupils of the school wanted their children to be in DLP classes.