KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 ― The Sarawak government is aiming to more than triple school participation in the Dual Language Programme (DLP) by 2020, in line with its commitment to strengthen English proficiency in the state.
The Borneo Post today reported that the state government hopes to increase the number from 67 to 221 schools.
“We have received strong interest from many schools throughout the state that wish to participate in the DLP.
“Our chief minister highly emphasises the importance of the national language as well as adopting English as the second national language to keep pace with global advancement,” state Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah was quoted as saying.
The country’s largest state currently has 32 primary and 35 secondary schools taking part in the programme. It is aiming to increase the number to 94 primary and 60 secondary schools.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has repeatedly argued for the need to improve English proficiency and had even adopted it as the state’s second official language.
The DLP is set to be implemented at 300 national schools this year, giving students the option to study several subjects in English or Bahasa Malaysia.
However, not everyone has been receptive to the programme.
Yesterday, a coalition of Malay activist and education groups opposed to DLP announced it will hold protest rallies in every state from March 26, culminating in a larger gathering in the national capital next month to pressure Putrajaya to drop the programme.
National Education Action Council chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan claimed that Malay students would be “victimised” by the DLP.
“Tyranny happens when Malay students are being forced to study several subjects in English,” he told a news conference here yesterday.