• July 12th, 2020

KiSwahili: Cabinet demands feedback

Cabinet has directed the ministry of education to provide feedback on the status of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the deployment of KiSwahili experts to Namibia by June this year. The ministry has also been implored to further ensure the implementation of the just signed agreement on culture, arts and sport.

Information minister Stanley Simataa last week announced the Cabinet decision. Last year, Cabinet directed the ministry to unlock the potential of introducing KiSwahili as an optional language in local schools by next year. 

Moreover, plans to introduce KiSwahili in local schools heightened during Tanzania’s president John Magufuli’s proposal to the Namibian government in May last year to consider it as an optional language. However, there is divided opinion among locals about the introduction of the language in Namibian schools.

Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp said the issue of introducing KiSwahili was still being researched. “At this stage, we don’t have a comment on the issue of KiSwahili. It is something still being researched on,” Steenkamp said yesterday. “We are also responding on the Cabinet resolution. We have to look at the MoU. Any foreign language needs a lot of researching, benchmarking and consultation.

These three processes are some of the things we still have to explain.” In January, the ministry of education said it would introduce KiSwahili as an optional language in schools by 2021. “Actually, the issue of the introduction of KiSwahili was discussed during our December executive meeting. We have looked at various options of how to go about the introduction of Kiswahili and one of the key issues we will consider is the piloting of KiSwahili in some schools. We will use 2020 to get all the groundwork in place and also determine with the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) on how it can be piloted,” Steenkamp was quoted as saying last month by New Era. The country’s official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), last month joined the chorus of some Namibians in rejecting the mooted plans to introduce KiSwahili as an optional language in local schools by next year. PDM youth league spokesperson Maximilliant Katjimune said they totally reject the introduction of the KiSwahili language in Namibia’s basic education system. Katjimune made it clear their rejection of the language shouldn’t be viewed as un-African, but they are simply of the view there are more important pressing matters at the moment that confront the Namibian basic education system. “It is hypocritical and unpatriotic as Namibians to introduce other African languages while we, Namibians, have not even mastered our own indigenous languages.”


Albertina Nakale
2020-02-12 07:03:47 | 5 months ago

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