Kiswahili becomes compulsory in schools in Uganda

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The Government in Uganda has said that the teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools has been made compulsory.

The move is meant to implement the 21st East African Community (EAC) summit directive to adopt Kiswahili as an official language of the community.

Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, said the cabinet on Monday recommended that the teaching of Kiswahili language in primary and secondary schools should be made compulsory and examinable.

“It was further agreed that training programmes for Parliament, Cabinet and the media be initiated,” he said.

In Uganda, many people speak Luganda while English is recognised as the official language and the main language of instruction.

Over 200 million people speak Swahili which is the official language in Tanzania and Kenya. The language is also spoken in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as in Burundi, Madagascar and the Comoros islands.

In April, President Lazarus Chakwera talked about the possibility of developing a language curriculum for Malawi schools that includes the teaching of Portuguese, Swahili and French.

He argued that the promotion of the languages would allow Malawians to communicate easily with citizens of other countries when doing business within the region.

“It would ease the ability of Malawians to make full use of trade, employment and travel opportunities in the region and beyond,” Chakwera said.

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