Language Elective Programme to be introduced in selected secondary schools from 2020: Ong Ye Kung

The Tamil Language Elective Programme will be taught at junior college level at Anderson Serangoon JC from next year. (PHOTO: Chia Han Keong/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Language Elective Programme (LEP) will be introduced at the secondary school level from next year, said Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung on Tuesday (28 May).

Making the announcement during the 2019 Teacher’s Conference at the Singapore Expo, Ong said the LEP will be introduced at 15 selected secondary schools. The move is to continue fostering students’ passion for their Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) and Literature.

He said during his speech at the conference, “There is a certain perception that the study of MTLs deeply, through the LEPs and NTEPs (National Elective Tamil Language Programmes), are only for a selected group of students.

“We need to move away from that. Instead, it should be the more the merrier, and a larger group of students should feel that they can do it.”

There will also be changes to the existing LEP at the junior college (JC) level next year. The LEP-JC, which is currently available at eight schools, will be expanded to include three more schools.

Schools implementing the programmes

Nine schools will implement the Chinese LEP (CLEP): Anglican High School, Chung Cheng High School (Main), Dunman High School, Hwa Chong Institution, Maris Stella High School, Nan Chiau High School, Nan Hua High School, Nanyang Girls’ High School, and Temasek Junior College.

Three schools will introduce the Malay LEP (MLEP): Anderson Secondary School, Bukit Panjang Government High School, and Tanjong Katong Secondary School.

Another three schools will roll out the Tamil LEP (TLEP): Commonwealth Secondary School, Riverside Secondary School, and Yishun Town Secondary School.

Separately, the MLEP-JC will be introduced in two more schools: National Junior College and Raffles Institution (JC). Currently, the MLEP-JC is available at Jurong Pioneer Junior College, Tampines Meridian Junior College, and Yishun Innova Junior College.

The TLEP-JC will be introduced for the first time at the junior college level in National Junior College and Anderson Serangoon Junior College.

Currently, five schools offer the CLEP-JC: Dunman High School, Hwa Chong Institution, Jurong Pioneer Junior College, Nanyang Junior College, and Temasek Junior College. There will be no changes in the CLEP-JC.

Literary and enrichment activities

Introduced in 1990, the LEP is aimed at enhancing the proficiency of students in their MTLs and boost their knowledge of Literature.

During the two-year programme, students will participate in literary and enrichment activities organised by Ministry of Education and schools. The activities include local camps, overseas immersion trips, and Meet-The-Author sessions and lectures.

O-Level students who are enrolled in the LEP must sit for O-Level Literature in their respective MTLs while Integrated Programme students must study a school-based MTL Literature subject.

All LEP-JC students must sit for A-Level examination in H2 Language and Literature in their respective MTLs. They can choose H3 Language and Literature as a non-examinable subject, and later choose to sit for the H3 A-Level examination.

Ong said, “We will continue to develop students who have the aptitude for languages for languages to achieve a level of proficiency comparable to the good students from China, Taiwan, Malaysia or Tamil Naidu. We can give broader and better support to students with the potential to do so "

Related story:

Inspiring lifelong passion in learning mother tongue is key emphasis among new LEP schools