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Singapore to expand Tamil teaching

Singapore will introduce a new Tamil-language elective next year for high-ability secondary and junior college students who want to go deeper into the language, its literature and culture, the Straits Times reports.

The National Elective Tamil Language Programme (NETP) will be similar to the existing Chinese and Malay language electives, but will not be amongst examined options.

Presently examined options include Tamil, Higher Tamil and Tamil literature, alongside similar in Chinese and Malay.

The NETP will instead be an enrichment programme with modules ranging from classical and contemporary literature to creative writing and public speaking.

The NETP is to be run at the Ministry of Education’s Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre (UPTLC).

The UPTLC has a dual role as a national resource centre for the Tamil language and as a Tamil teaching centre.

Although, along with English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil are official - ‘Mother Tongue’ - languages, Singapore teaches all subjects except languages in English, the country’s main language of communication.