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Kiswahili introduction still hangs in balance

2021-01-13  Aletta Shikololo

Kiswahili introduction still hangs in balance

The enrollment of Kiswahili in schools, which was planned to start this year, still is uncertain, as the executive director in the Ministry of Education, Sanet Steenkamp says the introduction of the language is not a main priority at the moment.
Steenkamp told Youth Corner last week that the adoption plans for ‘Africa’s most internationally recognised language’ in local classrooms is not at the forefront and no memorandum of understanding between the relevant parties has been signed yet.

“Our whole focus and attention is on the current revised curriculum and the rollout in all schools. We are not talking about the introduction of Kiswahili at the moment,” the ED said.
In 2019, the Cabinet directed the ministry of education to unlock the potential of introducing the language into the Namibian school curriculum as an optional language.

 Plans to introduce Kiswahili in local schools heightened during Tanzania’s President John Magufuli’s proposal to the Namibian government in May 2019, saying this could help remove barriers to trade between the two countries.
Swahili, also known by its native name Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the native language of the Swahili people, and it will be the first African language from outside Namibia to be taught in local schools.

South Africa is among six other SADC countries that have introduced Kiswahili in schools.
Last year, opposition parties and stakeholders in the education sector raised their concerns over Cabinet’s decision to explore introducing the language, with many saying it could be in vain, while some urged the government to stop the pursuit of Kiswahili and focus on integrating learners to speak different Namibian languages.
- ashikololo@nepc.com.na


2021-01-13  Aletta Shikololo

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