Language experts want Kiswahili to be compulsory in schools

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan addresses the press on the state of Kiswahili language in the country. He called on the government to invest in a campaign aimed at creating awareness of the Swahili culture in society as the world prepares to celebrate World Kiswahili Day on July 7. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Kiswahili experts in the country are now calling for reforms in the education sector to make the language compulsory.

They argue that the language should be prioritised and taught in schools from nursery to university.

This emerged during Kiswahili experts round table at Ufungamano House, Nairobi, on April 6.

Kiswahili enthusiasts said that language has not been given enough priority in national matters.

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan noted that the experts and the State should cancel the policy of Kiswahili as an option subject and make it compulsory in schools.

“We want the government through Kenya Institute of Curriculum development (KICD) to put emphasis in order to have Kiswahili as a compulsory language in the country,” said Hassan

The experts insist that making Kiswahili compulsory will enable the future generation speak quality and respectful language.

“We cannot have Kiswahili as a National language then make it optional yet countries as Japan, China and United States of America(USA) uses and continues to use their own languages in their education system," Hassan said.

Language experts said that since UNESCO approved July 7 as World Kiswahili Day, the government has not set a strategy to raise its status like other countries.

Prof Kimani Njogu said that East Africa has the mandate to preserve and promote Kiswahili.

He also called on the government to subject foreign nationals seeking work permits in the country to undertake Kiswahili assessment as it is the norm with European countries.

At the same time, the experts challenged county governments to initiate plans and organise competitions and rewards for the best Kiswahili writers and poems.

They urged President William Ruto to read his national speeches in Kiswahili.

By Mose Sammy 4 hrs ago
Golf
Balala wins Kabete Open hattrick
By Mose Sammy 5 hrs ago
Golf
Kimani Njagi crowned at Royal course
Athletics
Beatrice Chebet: See you at Paris Olympics
Unique Sports
SCHOOLS: The march to East Africa games gathers pace