I’m not quite sure if most Malaysians know about this, but you can actually have vernacular language classes in national schools (SK). I have a feeling that most people do not know how to go about having these POL classes (as they are called) run in their own schools. The actual requirements are actually fairly simple and most parents should actually get this done in the national schools if they wish to have the vernacular languages taught to their kids.
The most basic requirement is demand. There needs to be at least 14-15 children who wish to have the POL classes. This means that the parents could collect signatures or it would be far easier to raise this issue during the PTA meetings and have it officially voted on. The request can then be forwarded to the school principal and the district education department for action. What is usually done is that a teacher from a SJK would then be hired to teach these POL classes.
These POL classes are usually held on Fridays, between the hours of 12.30pm to 2.30pm. So, students from both morning and afternoon sessions would be able to attend. However, I believe that it is also possible to schedule these classes on Saturdays as well. Either way, the teacher from the SJK would come to the school and teach the lessons during these times.
This is actually a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The teachers get paid an additional allowance for teaching these POL classes. The students get to have an additional 2-hours per week of a third language. The school gets to provide an additional service for the community. The parents can have their children learn a third language. I don’t see how this could be a lose for anyone.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this is being done in most schools. I have a feeling that most parents do not even know that they can get POL classes in national schools. Even if they do know that such things are possible, they may not know how to go about requesting for it either.
I know that my nephew has it in his school. Not sure about the rest though.