Dual Language Program (DLP) latest Circular 2018

November 2nd, 2018 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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The latest circular (pekeliling) on Dual Language Program (DLP) was rather quietly published on 5th October 2018. The title – Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil 8 Tahun 2018 (Garis Panduan Pelaksanaan Dual Language Programme (DLP) di sekolah-sekolah KPM Tahun 2018).  Link to DLP circular on MOE website: https://www.moe.gov.my/images/KPM/ZOOupload/SPI%20BIL%208-DLP.pdf

The silence is quite understandable as there are some opposing view on DLP even though it has been stressed many times that its optional and depends on the parents’ request and consent.

This post will not cover the background of DLP. Instead it focuses on the content of this new circular and hopes to highlight key points which may help parents and school administrators.

The document contains 2 parts: the first 3 pages (the page with signature is strangely missing) are the cover letter and the balance is the garis panduan (guideline).

1. Page 2 Item 7 states that previous circulars are now void and is replaced by the current one. So, need no make any reference to the earlier ones.

 

2. Criteria for DLP remains at four (criteria 2 should be labelled as (b)), but there are some interesting changes.

Let’s look into each of them.

Criteria a) – School should (hendaklah) have sufficient resources. Resources here means teachers, classrooms and materials. Obviously materials will come form MOE (text books) while classroom is not an issue. Only teacher qualification may be a constraint, but as long as the teacher is currently qualified to teach science/maths, it should not be even a problem, because after all, its just primary/secondary school level subject right? Anyhow the teacher criteria is described in section 6.2. Basically if the teacher has credit in SPM English, has taught science/maths for at least 3 years or has a minimum diploma qualification in science/maths related course,  then he/she is qualified.

Criteria b) (or 2) – School HM or principal should (hendaklah) have discussion with teachers and state education department to prepare short term and long term plans to ensure effectiveness and continuity of DLP in terms of teachers, students, classrooms and other resources. So, decision should be made after consultation with the PPD/JPN.

Criteria c) – Application from a minimum of 15 parents should (hendaklah) be obtained to proceed with DLP. If the number of application is insufficient, parents must (perlu) be informed. Previously, no minimum number was set at application level, but for class to begin need to have minimum 15 students.

Criteria d) – the school’s BM results at UPSR/SPM level must be equal or more than the level set by MOE (the level is not defined in the circular, which is a very smart move). Previously it was tied to the national average which meant that many schools are not able to proceed with DLP.

 

3. Implementation of DLP can only begin at Year 1 or Form 1, unlike previously which can also begin at Year 4 and Form 4. Also, once started, the class must continue until Year 6/Form 5 even if the number of students dropped below 15.

 

4. The confusion arises when I read on how to apply for DLP. As mentioned below in para 6.7.1.a, the application need to be started in the year preceding DLP implementation. So if school wants to start DLP in 2019, they should have applied by 31 March 2018! Problem is, this circular is published in October 2018 and the school themselves may not have any idea who are the parents of the new Year 1 students and whether they are interested to take up DLP option. So, this procedure and guideline assumes the initial interest comes from school, not parents. And this application process ends by June of current year whereby MOE gives approval to run DLP classes.

5. Clause 7 refer to responsibility of parents and school in application of DLP. School must give DLP application form to parents of Year 1/Form 1 students by 1st week of school. There is also an appeal process if the students is not selected for DLP.

All the relevant forms are  provided in the circular so schools need not waste time creating forms and so on. Example below is the application form for parents to fill up.

 

 

In conclusion, the new circular has removed some of the hurdles in implementing DLP. However since it was released very late, the deadline for schools to send application to run DLP is long over. Perhaps there were briefings held early of the year, but quite doubtful as no news on such briefing.  If the school didn’t make any application this year so far, MOE must give some leeway to allow schools to apply immediately and submit by some date before end of the year. Also there must a process for parents to initiate the application as some schools may be hesitant to implement DLP due to other agendas.

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