Fadhlina says schools must still adhere to DLP guidelines

Fun outing: Fadhlina (centre) with members of the Penang Mutiara Media Club during their Family Day Programme at the Bertam water park. — Bernama

KEPALA BATAS: Schools have provided “very good feedback” at an engagement session with the Penang Education Department but they must still adhere to the guidelines on the Dual Language Programme (DLP), says the Education Ministry.

Minister Fadhlina Sidek said the session was aimed at understanding the needs of all parties to comply with the guidelines and reaffirm the policy of elevating the Malay language and strengthening the English language.

The state Education Department, she said, received “very good feedback” at the engagement session with all parties regarding the issue of operating the DLP in some of the state’s schools.

“We want to emphasise that the guidelines must be complied with, that’s why the engagement session was very important, and following the issue, the state Education Department has once again provided an explanation,” she said.

“The engagement session is also an ongoing process.

“Feedback from the engagement session conducted by the department with the parties involved after the issue arose has been very good.

“I think that’s why we had to engage with the people and it went well,” she said after opening the Penang Mutiara Media Club Family Day at a water theme park in Bertam here, Bernama reported.

Fadhlina said this while commenting on developments regarding the issue raised by the school board and the Parent-Teacher Association of 11 national-type secondary schools (SMJK) and Chinese secondary schools (SMC) in Penang, who asked the Education Ministry to respect the wishes of parents and return to the original intention of DLP in using English in the learning of Science and Mathematics.

Last week, 11 Chinese secondary schools in Penang said they could not comply with the latest directive that at least one class be set up for Science and Mathematics to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia as a DLP prerequisite as none of the pupils or parents wanted it.

Among the worries raised by parents was that forcing it on their children would affect their academic performance.

DLP is a programme under the policy of Elevating Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English.

On another matter, Fadhlina said the Selangor Education Department was conducting an investigation in accordance with the standard operating procedure set by the ministry against the school and teachers regarding the incident where a student was believed to have been put under the hot sun for almost three hours as a punishment.

“We (ministry) have submitted the matter to the authorities and the investigation was carried out by the police, as there is already a police report, and we leave it to them to take further action,” she said.

She was responding to calls by Gerakan Guaman Rakyat (Gegar) to the Hulu Langat District Education Office to be firm and take immediate action against the school and teachers concerned.

The mother of the student involved reportedly claimed that her son had suffered from heat stroke and neurological problems and was given a referral letter to be assessed as a disabled person (OKU) due to the health problems he experienced as a result of the punishment.

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