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British Council Malaysia

School Holiday Programme December 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Update on DLP (Dual Language Programme)

Quick Overview of the DLP (Dual Language Programme)

DLP which is short for Dual Language Programme is a programme where Math and Science are taught in English for schools approved to do so.  Please read our earlier post on What Parents Need To Know About DLP for a more detailed explanation.

The DLP was first implemented in 2016. 2019 will be the fourth year of its implementation. Here is a quick summary of how it is implemented in schools which have been approved to run the DLP programme.

Std 1
Std 4
Form 1

Std 1
Std 2
Std 4
Std 5
Form 1
Form 2

Std 1
Std 2
Std 3
Std 4
Std 5
Std 6
Form 1
Form 2
Form 3

Std 1 to Form 4

Std 1 to Form 5

What Are The Schools Approved To Run The DLP?

At this point of writing, we do not have a list for 2019. For the 2016. 2017 & 2018 list, please read our earlier post on Complete List of DLP Schools (Note that the post mentions Selangor in particular but you can find the list for all states at the end of the post listed as First Cohort, Second Cohort and Third Cohort. You will need to look at all three to get the entire list)/

Is DLP Here To Stay?

Where are we headed and is DLP here to stay is a frequently asked question by parents. 

The Ministry of Education (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) recently uploaded an 18 page guideline plus 11 pages of attachment for the implementation of DLP wef 2018 (to replace its earlier guideline from 2015). This is an indication that it is here to stay and the implementation of it has been refined.

This post highlights pages 1, 3, 4 and 9 of the guideline. You can download the entire guideline from the MOE official website from this page. Look for the link that says 

Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil 8 Tahun 2018 (Garis Panduan Pelaksanaan Dual Language Programme (DLP) di sekolah-sekolah KPM Tahun 2018) 
- pada 5 October 2018

The first page of the guideline lists down the purpose and objective of the DLP. 
Page 3 lists down the criteria for selection of schools. The schools must have the resources, the head of school must have a plan on how to implement the DLP, there should be at least 15 written applications by parents and the school's UPSR or SPM results for the year before application should be the equal or higher than the achievement set by the MOE.

Page 4 lists down the procedure for DLP to be implemented in approved schools including the starting of DLP classes once the minimum of 15 students is achieved. It also states that once the school has been approved to start a DLP class, it must continue to Std 6 or Form 5 level even if the number of students drop below 15.

Page 9 highlights the action that is required by parents who wish to attend the DLP class for Standard 1, Form 1 and Form 4 levels in DLP approved schools. Parents must apply for placement on the given form during the first week of school. Once application is approved, parents must complete the consent letter. Should the application be rejected, parents must make an appeal within 7 days upon receipt of the letter of rejection. Finally, Form 4 students who have not attended DLP classes in lower secondary will be considered by the school based on the student's ability.

The rest of the document covers other guidelines including criteria for selection of teachers, curriculum, textbooks, assessment, withdrawal of student from DLP class,  transfer of student from one DLP school  to another, transfer of student from DLP school to non-DLP school, transfer of teachers and more.

In other words, everyone's role from PPD (Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah) to Heads of schools, teachers and parents have been set out in detail. Since this guideline is dated 5th October, 2018, it would mean that DLP is here to stay, for now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Do SJKC and SJKT students need to attend remove class?

One of the frequently asked questions among parents of SJKC (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina) and SJKT (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil) kids who are going on to SMK (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan) is whether there is still a need to attend remove class and if so, what is the minimum grade required to advance to Form 1 without needing to attend remove class?

Recently, the Ministry of Education (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) sent out notices to schools regarding remove class for students going to Form One in 2019.

According to the notice as shown below, students born in the year 2006 or 1st January 2007, and who sat for the UPSR in 2018 with at least a Grade D in Bahasa Malaysia Paper One and Bahasa Malaysia Paper Two may advance to Form 1 in 2019 without attending remove class.

Those who did not manage to get the minimum Grade D in BM paper may appeal if they managed to get the minimum Grade D during school based assessments while they were in upper primary school. (Standard 4 - 6).

No other subjects are taken into account in the decision on whether to send a student for remove class or otherwise.

The above info is obtained from KPM official website.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Confident Speaking and Writing Through Science And Technology Holiday Programme

Hi parents,

It's October! The year-end school holidays begins next month! For those of you searching for school holiday programmes, it is a good time to start hunting now so that you can enjoy the early bird discounts.

Here's one for parents looking for English Language Holiday Courses. It's the British Council year-end holiday programme. The theme this year is Science and Technology. Participants will learn Confident Speaking and Writing through Science and Technology. 

Sign up before 31st October 2018 to get a 5% discount.

Confident Speaking and Writing through Science and Technology is available at all of the British Council centres in Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, The Curve and Penang. The course will be held from 3-7 December 2018 for every age group from 5 to 17. The course is personalized for each age group using the Science and Technology theme.

There is a shift towards Science and Technology subjects in schools everywhere. Understanding the subject terminology and being able to express oneself well in this area is crucial. Having these incorporated into an English programme is a bonus.

Here's what you can expect for this year's English Holiday programme.
  • 7 hours of fun learning each day
  • 5 days of speaking and writing practice
  • Creating posters and presenting them
  • Imagining life on other planets
  • Making up fictional animals
  • Taking part in interactive experiments

Get full details from our earlier post British Council Year-End Holiday Courses 2018.

Programme: English Language 2018 Year-End Holiday Programme at The British Council Malaysia
Theme: Confident Speaking and Writing through Science and Technology
Where: British Council Kuala Lumpur, The Curve, Penang
When: 3-7 December 2018 (7 hours per day)
Fee: RM940
Early Bird: 5% discount for registration before 31st October 2018
Enquiries:  visit www.britishcouncil.my/holidays or call 03-2780 3894 (Kuala Lumpur / The Curve) or 04-202 0014 (Penang).

Also available exclusively at The Curve
Confident Speaking and Writing through Art and Culture
Date: 10 - 14 December 2018

This post was brought to you by British Council Malaysia

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sekolah Sri KDU Info Day to be held on 16 October 2018

We attended Sekolah Sri KDU's Mandarin Open Day recently. It was very well organized. It is always interesting to listen to the insights and views of academicians, principals and teachers, not to mention the students themselves who were there to give parents guided tours of the school.

Below are our insights and thoughts on the school. This is a long post but readers are encouraged to read to the end including the most important part which is the Summary at the end of the post.

About the Open Day

Firstly, we'll walk you through the Open Day as it happened so you know what to expect at the school's Open Day. We note that it is advisable to attend the Open Day from start to end so that you get the full picture and do not miss out on any of the planned or organized activities.

The Open Day started at 10 am with the rousing performance by the primary school's 24 Seasons Drum troupe. This was in the school hall where primary school teachers and secondary school teachers were seated to personally talk to parents. You can speak to the teachers one-to-one here and ask them any questions you have about the school.

The school had organized talks by the primary school principal at 10.30 am and secondary school principal at 11.30 am. The talks were about 45 minutes each. You can ask questions during the talk or privately afterwards. You can tour the school at any time with the help of the student ambassadors.

About Sekolah Sri KDU

We attended all the talks and spoke to academicians of both the primary and secondary schools and we will share with you what we have learned.

Two Schools Under One Roof

Sri KDU schools is made up of two schools under one roof.

1. Sekolah Sri KDU is a private school doing the Malaysian National Curriculum (KSSR/KSSM)

2. Sri KDU International School is an international school using the National Curriculum of England followed by the Cambridge IGCSE.

The Open Day we attended is for Sekolah Sri KDU which is the private school that is using the Malaysian National Curriculum (KSSR/KSSM) so that is what we will talk about in this post. Let's start with some questions that immediately come to mind.

Q1. What Makes Sekolah Sri KDU Different From A Public School If It Runs The Same Syllabus?

- The schooling hours are from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm for Mondays to Thursdays and from 8 am to 12.30 pm on Fridays. For the secondary school, the schooling hours are from 7.50 am to 3.40 pm for Mondays to Thursdays and from 7.50 am to 12.30 pm on Fridays.

- It incorporates Singapore and Cambridge curricula into our local syllabus. In this way, it combines and makes use of the best in both worlds - the detailed content in the local syllabus plus the pedagogy of the international curriculum with more emphasis on higher order thinking skills.

- In addition to the local syllabus, students learn coding and performance arts making them more rounded individuals.

Q2. Why are the hours so long?

- Compulsory co-curricular activities of one sport and one uniformed unit/club are included during schooling hours.

- There are some additional compulsory subjects including Mandarin, Cambridge ICT Starters/ Computer Science (Coding), and Structured Performing Arts Programme.

- Students need to take 2 activities under the Structured Performing Arts Programme
Assigned one from Musical Theatre, Dance, Vocals and pick one from Musical Instruments (Primary: Violin, Ukelele or Piano; Secondary: Acoustic Guitar or Drums) or assigned two from Musical Theatre, Dance, Vocals if they do not want to take any Musical Instruments.

- For subjects like Maths and Science, the hours may be longer than those required by the Ministry of Education by an extra 4 periods each. This makes it possible for students to study both local and other syllabi including the Singapore and Cambridge curricula.

Q3. Why the extended periods for Maths and Science?

Although the primary school conducts the local syllabus, it incorporates the Singapore and Cambridge Primary Curricula for English, Maths and Science.

In secondary school, the Cambridge Secondary 1 Curriculum is used for English, Mathematics and Science. Form 3 students can opt to sit for the Cambridge Checkpoint Test in addition to PT3 which acts as a diagnostic test to gauge if students understand the syllabus.

Below are some of the curriculum and co-curricular activities that may interest you.

Now, let's go on a mini "tour" around the school. I was taken on a tour by two delightful girls from the primary school and a teen boy and teen girl from the secondary school. Below are some pictures I managed to snap.

Sekolah Sri KDU which does the local syllabus and Sri KDU International School share the same campus with separate buildings for both schools including separate buildings for primary and secondary schools. Certain facilities like canteens and libraries are separate while others like the swimming pool and multi-purpose hall are shared.

This is the corridor of the primary school classrooms. There are about 5-8 classes for each level in primary school with each class having a maximum of 28 students. Each class has a homeroom teacher and assistant homeroom teacher while Primary 1 classes have additional academic assistants.

These nice lockers are located just right outside the classroom. Books can be easily accessible. No need to worry about heavy bag loads.

This is the primary school canteen. Food can be catered for the lower primary school children. Teachers will be present to make sure they finish their food.

This is the primary school library. There is a cosy corner (not included in the picture) for weekly storytelling activities. The language teachers will tell stories in English, BM and Mandarin (once a week for each language) during lunch breaks.


The primary school library includes a section with computers for doing research.

This is the secondary school building. The classrooms are similar to the primary school classrooms but in a different colour scheme and with lockers provided as well. There are about 7-10 secondary classes with up to 28 students per class. 

This is the secondary school field. The primary school has its own school field. However, sports day events are often big events that are held at the stadium. 

These are some of the sports day decor done by the secondary school students. They look really awesome. I also noticed other props from the students' theatrical production which are just as impressive. Every year the students put up a production and handle all stages of production independently.

This is the swimming pool which is one of the shared facilities. It is compulsory for all students to learn swimming from P1 onwards with the exception of those with medical issues.


This is the secondary school library.

This section is also part of the secondary school library. Sometimes, the teachers may bring the students to the library for lessons or they may use it for Tutor Time. Tutor Time is a form of additional support that is initiated by the school when needed and is given to students until they show improvement.

The library is stocked with English, Chinese and Malay books. This is because Sekolah Sri KDU is a trilingual school. They use the national KSSR/KSSM syllabus where most of the subjects are taught in BM. They are a DLP school which means that Math and Science is conducted in English. In addition to that they use the Cambridge Secondary 1 Curriculum for English, Maths and Science.

Mandarin is a compulsory subject for P1 to Secondary 3 and an elective subject for Upper Secondary. (Secondary 4 & 5). Students can also opt to sit for Mandarin in PT3 and SPM. Mandarin classes are divided into basic, intermediate and advanced offering listening and speaking skills and advancing to reading and writing skills especially for those who come from SJKC schools (local Chinese schools).

This is the amphitheatre for the secondary school.

This is the dance room where students can learn Latin dance and more. Other facilities include science laboratories, music rooms, sewing room, cookery lab, ICT Labs, art rooms etc. I was not able to take clear photos of those so I won't be sharing those.

This is the secondary school cafeteria. According to a student, they are able to order freshly cooked food for lunch. Students, both primary and secondary carry an ID card which they can top up with cash and use it to purchase food.


Sekolah Sri KDU offers a unique learning environment that is very versatile. This is why we think so.

1. If offers the teaching and learning of Mandarin for families who want their children to learn Mandarin but prefers not to send their kids to SJKC.

2. It offers those who has had 6 years of learning Mandarin in SJKC to have some form of continuity in learning Mandarin during the secondary years without the stress of taking exams so that they do not lose touch with the language. They are encouraged to take the exams if possible.

3. It offers a cheaper alternative to international school. The trilingual environment means that students are frequently exposed to English which would improve their fluency in the language. Some students join Sekolah Sri KDU in primary and switch to Sri KDU International school in secondary.

4. It offers ICT for the whole of primary and secondary and computer science (coding) for primary as part of its curriculum. These are compulsory subjects.

5. It encourages holistic learning. The performing arts, speech, drama, dancing, singing and music is encouraged and included in the curriculum during schooling hours.

6. Since the national syllabus is taught at Sekolah Sri KDU, parents can opt to move their children back to SK at any time if the situation calls for it.

Fees start from RM21,000. If you need more information on the fees or other information not included here, you can visit the school during the Sekolah Sri KDU Info Day on 16 October 2018, 9:00a.m. to 12:30p.m. This is during a weekday when classes are ongoing so you can see the school in action. The best time to visit a school is during school days so you can see the students and teachers going about their day to day routine and visualize if your child will fit in the school.

Happy school hunting everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jalan Alor Bukit Bintang Street Art

One of the latest things you can do in KL is to take a walk along the back lanes of Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang area. A project by DBKL is slowly turning these once dirty back lanes and side lanes into works of art.

According to a Star Paper article dated 27 February 2018,

"Jalan Alor’s surroundings was identified for potential regeneration and work is currently under way there. It covers Jalan Tong Shin, Tengkat Tong Shin, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Jalan Berangan and Jalan Alor. This comprises side lanes, back lanes, alleys and service lanes in between buildings, as well as pocket parks within Bukit Bintang.

The work will be carried out in two phases, where the first involves repainting old buildings with colourful murals, re-tiling and repaving walkways, upgrading drainage and piping as well as relocating light poles and cables within Jalan Alor covering about 3km at a cost of RM1mil."

You can read more about the project here.

During the recent 4 day weekend, we decided to take a look. We asked around but no one seemed to know where it was. There are no signboards to show the way. It's not too hard to find it though, just walk around Jalan Alor back streets.

We managed to find the "entrance" to the 3D waterfall and stream artwork at the end of these red buildings. 

At the end of the red buildings, you will see the owl painting.

Enter the lane and the first thing that greets you is the "Jalan Alor stream" and rain forest with puffy clouds.

Make a turn to the right and you will be greeted by the blue bird painting

This is followed by a child blowing bubbles graphics

The blue bird graffiti art close up

Close up of the boy blowing bubbles

A turn to the left brings you to colourful butterflies lining up a wall

To the right is someone with a peace sign.

Colourful modern street art covers this lane

Finally, we exited here at the Restoran Food Village.

There's more to it but we missed them. Hopefully, the project continues and gets completed soon so we can pay another visit.

Where to park?

Upon exiting, we noticed that there is a public car park at the Kuala Lumpur Baptist Church as shown in the map below.

You can also park at any of the nearby shopping complexes like Sungei Want, Plaza Low Yat, Lot 10 etc. We parked at Pavilion and enjoyed walking among the tourists.

Below is the map from the star article on the total project site.

After all that walking, you may feel hungry. One good place to head to is Lot 10 Hutong Food court where you will find plenty of varieties of food. From street level,  you go down the escalator to food glorious food.

The walk from Jalan Alor Street Art to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court takes just 6 minutes.

We have another long weekend ahead of us. Perhaps you can visit and share your pictures too.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Malaysia School Holidays and Public Holidays 2019

The Malaysia Public Holidays and School Holidays 2019 is out on the Ministry of Education website. Every year, parents wait for these dates eagerly because they plan for their vacations ahead of time by buying cheap deals in travel fairs.

Some have even gone ahead to buy air tickets and made plans ahead of time by guessing the dates of the holidays. Are you one of them? Did you guess the dates correctly? We noticed a slight change in this year's calendar. We'll talk about the changes at the end of this post.

In the meantime, let's have a look at the calendar or school terms and holidays for 2019.

1. School term and holidays for 2019 for schools in group A, Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu
 2.  School term and holidays for 2019 for schools in group B, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya
Source: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website (website is down at the point of writing) Note that while the above was uploaded at the Moe website, it has not yet been shared at the FB page of the Moe so it may still be subject to changes. We will update this post for any changes if any.

Note that this calendar is not complete as there is another part ie the Cuti Perayaan or Festive Holiday which usually comes out a little later.

You may also like to know the public holidays for 2019.

1. Malaysia National Public Holidays 2019 for the whole country

 2. Malaysia State Public Holidays 2019 for specific states

Source: Laman Web Rasmi Bahagian Kabinet, Perlembagaan dan Perhubungan antara Kerjaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri

Differences between the school term dates of 2018 and 2019

The school terms is made up of two semesters with a 2 week break in the middle of the year. Each semester has a mid-term break of 1 week in the middle of the semester. That has not changed.

What has changed is the duration of the semesters before and after the breaks. Let's have a look.


First Semester = 12 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of First Semester = 8 weeks *
Mid Year Break = 2 weeks
Second Semester = 9 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of Second Semester = 14 weeks
Year-end break = 5 weeks


First Semester = 11 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of First Semester = 11 weeks *
Mid Year Break = 2 weeks
Second Semester = 8 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of Second Semester = 13 weeks
Year-end break = 5 weeks

The changes have been highlighted using different coloured fonts. Did you notice that the first semester is now shorter? 1st Semester is 12 + 8 = 20 weeks in 2019 vs 11 + 11 = 22 weeks in 2018.  It is shortened by 3 weeks in the second half of the first semester ie 8 weeks in 2019 vs 11 weeks in 2019. Did you guess the dates correctly when buying air tickets and travel deals? What do you think of the new term dates?

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