Kiswahili scholars, teachers, well-wishers and other stakeholders under their umbrella body, CHAKITAU have welcomed the latest move by government to make the teaching of Kiswahili language in primary and secondary schools should be made compulsory and examinable.
CHAKITAU, an abbreviation for Chama cha Kiswahili Cha Taifa Uganda(Uganda national Kiswahili association) is an umbrella organization that brings together Kiswahili associations, scholars, well-wishers, authors and other stakeholders in Uganda.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, the CHAKITAU Secretary, Benon Mukundane said the move will not only make Kiswahili popular but will also create employment for many Kiswahili teachers in the country.
“We applaud government for making a decision at cabinet level to approve the implementation of the 21st EAC Summit directive to adopt Kiswahili as an official language of the community but also recommending the teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools be made compulsory and examinable,”Mukundane said.
“We also thank government for introducing Kiswahili as a compulsory subject in primary teachers’ colleges and lower secondary in 2013 and 2020 respectively but also approving Kiswahili syllabi for all educational institutions.”
CHAKITAU told journalists that government has also in the past disseminated Kiswahili text books to all government aided primary and secondary schools as well as primary teachers’ colleges as well as employing Kiswahili teachers at secondary and post-secondary institutions, a move they said is in the right direction .
The Kiswahili association however urged that the language be taught as a compulsory subject from primary one and not primary four to senior six.
The association insisted that seeds of learning and understanding the language ought to be planted into kids in lower primary, other than starting with those in primary four.
“The East African protocol provides for the teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools as a compulsory subject and whereas textbooks have been developed and distributed in all schools, it is worrying that the teaching of this language at primary level has taken long. There are many teachers for Kiswahili language in the country who are ready for deployment. We pray that they are recruited and deployed into different schools so that Ugandans can learn Kiswahili,”Mukundane said.
The association also urged government to create Kiswahili desks for technical persons in the line ministries to coordinate the activities intended to promote the language.
“CHAKITAU firmly believes that Uganda’s protracted decision towards Kiswahili will have a great positive impact on Ugandans at wider level in the region for harmonious community business and timely implementation of EAC policies and programs.”