Chi­nese fear over English study op­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY KONG SEE HOH

UNITED Chi­nese School Com­mit­tees As­so­ci­a­tion (Dong Zong) and six other ma­jor Chi­nese groups will sub­mit a me­moran­dum to the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry on Oct 5 to seek a re­view of the Dual Lan­guage Pro­gramme (DLP) in a move to safe­guard the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Chi­nese pri­mary schools.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port in Sin Chew Daily yes­ter­day, Dong Zong pres­i­dent Datuk Vin­cent Lau counts DLP as one of the many at­tempts by the min­istry to erode the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Chi­nese pri­mary schools and ul­ti­mately turn the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem into a sin­gle stream.

DLP is a pi­lot project aimed at en­hanc­ing English pro­fi­ciency in gov­ern­ment schools where most sub­jects are taught in Ba­hasa Malaysia (BM).

Stu­dents at 300 pri­mary and sec­ondary schools se­lected for the pro­gramme this year are given the op­tion of tak­ing Science, Math­e­mat­ics, In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and De­sign and Tech­nol­ogy in ei­ther English or BM.

But crit­ics, in­clud­ing Chi­nese ed­u­ca­tion­ists, fear that un­der DLP, which is open to more Chi­nese schools from next year, English will even­tu­ally be made manda­tory for the teach­ing of Science and Math­e­mat­ics.

“The use of English to teach Science and Math­e­mat­ics will re­duce use of Man­darin to teach pupils in Chi­nese pri­mary schools, thus deny­ing the pupils’ ba­sic right to learn in their moth­er­tongue,” he said at a meet­ing be­tween Dong Zong and its state af­fil­i­ates in Ipoh on Fri­day night.

The meet­ing also dis­cussed the prob­lem of un­der-en­rolled Chi­nese pri­mary schools as a re­sult of ru­ral-ur­ban mi­gra­tion and the drop in birth rate among the Chi­nese.

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