Why are these schools exempted from DLP guidelines, questions Lim Guan Eng

Democratic Action Party (DAP) national chairman, Lim Guan Eng, questioned why the two elite schools, Royal Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) and Tunku Kurshiah College, allowed to teached Mathematics and Science in English.

“… was it possible for other government schools in Peninsular Malaysia to follow what these two elite schools had done by applying to conduct DLP (Dual Language Programme) classes in English for Maths and Science?” Lim asked.

Lim said fair play and a level playing field could only lead to a rational and logical conclusion.

Clause 12.2.8 of the updated DLP guidelines mandated that both Year One and Form One had to offer at least one class teaching Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Melayu, irrespective of parents’ preferences.

However, the two elite schools were exempted from the new rule according to the Chairperson of the Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

“So far, the education ministry has neither confirmed nor denied what Azimah said,” Lim said in a statement.

In a letter to the Editor of Free Malaysia Today (FMT) Noor Azimah also said the new guidelines explicitly excluded Sarawak.

“It has exclusively allowed all its primary schools to conduct DLP in full since 2020, which means that the medium of instruction of all science and mathematics classes was the English language,” Noor Azimah said.

While most people might not oppose the education ministry allocating RM18 million for Sarawak to conduct DLP classes in English for science and math, the refusal of elite schools to comply with the ministry’s directives was unexpected, said Lim.

“Few would begrudge the permission and special funding of RM 18 million granted by the Education Ministry to Sarawak to conduct DLP classes in English for Science and Maths, as part of some degree of autonomy granted pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“What would raise eyebrows are Azimah’s revelations that two elite schools in Peninsular Malaysia producing the cream of the Malay government and corporate world intended to ignore the latest directive from the ministry,” he said.

Yesterday, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek emphasised that DLP guidelines must be followed.

“We want to emphasise that the guidelines must be complied with,” she said, reported The Sun.

Earlier there was a joint letter from 11 Chinese school boards and parent-teacher associations in Penang, which urged the Ministry of Education to withdraw the requirement for Chinese primary schools to offer at least one class in Malay for teaching Mathematics and Science.

The DLP program was under the Enhancing Bahasa Malaysia and Reinforcing English (MBMMBI) policy.

DLP allowed schools to choose English as the medium for teaching science and mathematics.

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