School to reveal DLP appeal results on April 25

PETALING JAYA: Parents and students will know on Thursday (April 25) whether their appeals to be part of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) at a primary school in Kuala Lumpur are successful.

This follows the school’s decision to reassess the Year One students’ Bahasa Malaysia (BM) proficiency to determine if they were eligible to be enrolled in a DLP class.

A parent of one of the affected students, Lia (not her real name) said the school had slated Tuesday (April 23) and Wednesday (April 24) for the re-evaluation of students whose parents had filed appeals to have their children moved into the programme.

On Wednesday, several parents from the school held a peaceful demonstration for them to be given the freedom whether to enrol their children in DLP or not, said Lia, who was part of the group of parents.

On April 20, The Star reported that allegations of a school straying from the programme’s guidelines had surfaced.

Parents had voiced concerns that their children in Year One at the school were required to undergo an assessment to qualify for a DLP class.

This was despite the Education Ministry stating on Feb 14 that no such assessments should be used to determine pupils’ eligibility for DLP classes.

The assessment, according to the parent, was conducted using a "buku transisi" (transition book) – which was meant to aid pupils with the transition from homeschooling or kindergarten into Year One education.

Lia said all seven parents gathered outside the school premises took some time off from work and their daily routines to attend the demonstration.

"I'm working the afternoon shift so I am rushing off to work right now.

"We have to multitask and 'multi-fight' for our rights on something so basic and simple," she said when contacted by The Star.

She also added that her daughter had told her some 24 students were brought into a separate location in which they were being assessed for reading on Tuesday, while three remained in the classroom.

"As parents, we were not even notified of the process that they would be pulling aside some students in separate classes to be reassessed.

"We anticipate a positive outcome from the appeal, hoping the Education Ministry and the school will respect our rights and recognise that our children deserve the DLP.

"Many parents out there must be facing the same predicament and we hope this will give them more confidence to step out and be heard," she said.

Parent Action Group for Education (Page) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, who was also at the demonstration on Wednesday, said taking DLP away from students would not uphold their mastery in BM.

"There are other interventions that can be utilised under the Memperkasa Bahasa Melayu (MBM).

"All other subjects are taught in BM too which should be adequate enough and there is no logical reason to deny DLP to these parents and their children.

"The spirit of DLP is for parents to choose and therefore there is no reason to assess students," she said, adding that the criteria for establishing a DLP class are already being met and wondered if it is possible to also include at least one DLP class in every school to ensure fairness, given that many students struggle with English proficiency.

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