Thibahar Rajendran 0


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Dual Language Programme(DLP), Our SJKTamil Primary School Students will build Competencies in Two World Language –Tamil and English. The importance of Bilingual and/or Multilingual Education was clearly stated in UNESCO Advocacy Kit promoting Bilingual and/or Multilingual Education (MLE Concepts) at "all levels of education

I am not representing any political parties but I am indeed very much concerned about the future of our Malaysian children especially our SJKTamil students. The future of our children depends highly on our prudent decisions as Parents and Policy Makers in our beloved country, Malaysia.

Science, Technology, Commerce and Arts are the foundations and pillars of every nation. These are also the fundamental platforms of any educational system. Every community treasures their race, culture, heritage, language and arts. They are even treated sacred as in many cases it overlaps with religious beliefs. It is very dear and important to us as these are the very sources from where we derive our ethnic identities. We all have it in us and are proud of it. We have it in our kitchen, in our living room, in our dressing sense, in our mannerisms and of course we have it in our language. That's precisely why we are so protective of it and unfortunately sometimes to the extent we misinterpret the intention of those who are trying to help us to propel further in other areas without jeopardizing the very facets of the identities we hold so close to our hearts . Clashes of opinion among our own Malaysian Indians in DLP is a classic example of this. We, the ProDLP group evaluate DLP matter in a more rational and independent way without any political interference. Our decision is solely based on facts keeping in mind the future progress of our SJKTamil students.

Importantly, in this globalized world today, Science, Technology, Commerce and Language have advanced and progressed very well within English speaking domain and it has been embraced worldwide not only in the 1st world but also among countries which want to compete with the 1st world like China , India and many other Asia Pacific Countries.

Malaysia, as we all know has rich ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity. We are proud about it. But Malaysia is also an ambitious country. We can never deny that all of us are proud of our culture and we have great ambition for our children. The question is, are we willing to sacrifice the progress of our children based on frivolous objections on DLP merely by listening to the hearsay of those who are not well equipped with the right knowledge and information? And why are they in the precarious situation in the first place? It is simply because they don't take the time and effort to do a thorough research on the proposition of DLP?

In this globalized world, do we want to sacrifice the opportunities that exist not only in Malaysia but worldwide for our children? I don’t intend to deny the opportunities which are out there for the future of SJKT students of Malaysia but just imagine the vast scope they might have in their grasp if they are equipped linguistically as well.

We know some of the AntiDLP Groups are quoting UNESCO report about the importance of Mother Tongue education in early ages and they are using this UNESCO report as their weapon to attack DLP. I agree partially with the context of importance of mother tongue education but I had difficulty understanding it by simply reading it at surface level. Therefore, I took an additional step to carefully read and understand UNESCO’s Key Document under : The Advocacy Kit for promoting Multilingual Education which is available in their main website under education column.

The UNESCO's Booklet for Policy Makers issued by UNESCO Page 1 under point No.2 and if jointly read with UNESCO's Principles on Language and Education under Principle No.2 , clearly stated :-

UNESCO supports Bilingual and/or Multilingual Education (MLE Concepts) at "all levels of

education" as means of promoting both social and gender equality and as key element of linguistically diverse societies.

# The whole UNESCO report had been misinterpreted by AntiDLP Group in propaganda against the DLP implementation which is clearly in accordance to UNESCO recommendations as stated clearly in their Advocacy Kit.

Yes, it could have some challenges for the non –urban areas but don’t we want them to progress also?

As for a strong foundation of our educational system is concerned, I will strongly advocate our students to excel in commerce and STEM subjects by mastering their linguistically skills in English and preserve our Arts and Culture by engaging our children in literary subjects in Mother Tongue as they are so unique and special. This will make a “Strong Malaysia” while keeping our multi cultural values intact.

It is a Win-Win situation for all of us and for the future generations as well if DLP is implemented in SJKTamil schools fully as per Advocacy Kit by for Promoting Multilingual/Bilingual Education by UNESCO at "all level" issued for 1) Policy Makers 2) Programme Implementers 3) Community Members and in accordance with UNESCO's Principles on Language and Education.

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