By Sandra Birungi
When the next academic year begins in February, every school will be required to teach swahili, the East African Community Affairs Minister, Shem Bageine said.
The language will have to be taught starting from primary, secondary and university levels across the country. The move is aimed at making kiswahili the common language of the East African Community. At the moment, swahilli is the national language of Kenya and Tanzania where as it is widely spoken in Eastern Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern DR Congo.
Teaching the language has for the past years met a brick wall with citizens in Uganda attributing it to violent crimes of past armies that terrorized people in the 1970s and ‘80s.
As for those who are not in class, Bageine said government will organize adult literacy programmes in Kiswahili where they will be expected to make time to attend.
Government officials and public servants will also be encouraged to use Kiswahili as often as they can in public or official engagements both within the country and anywhere around the five East African partner state. This initiative will be overseen by the Swahili Commission which was created by Cabinet last month.
“The commission was ratified last month to facilitate teaching/learning and speaking of Kiswahili in the country. And it will be compulsory in all schools; we have a duty to ensure that it is spoken widely across the country, and we are going to facilitate that process,” said Mr Bageine.