Chinese fear over English study option
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.