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Teacher Shortage Impeding Swahili Language Teaching in Apac Schools

Last year, the government rolled out the revised curriculum for lower secondary schools. About 16,000 teachers were trained to implement the new curriculum, however, Kiswahili teachers were lacking.

Audio 3

The shortage of teachers has been singled out as the main reason affecting the teaching and learning of Swahili language in secondary schools in Apac district. Swahili, a common dialect among the East African Community member states was introduced in the Uganda primary school curriculum in 2,000, as a basis for advancing its use as the regional bloc pushed for integration.

It was later endorsed as a compulsory subject from upper primary to secondary level. However, several secondary schools in Apac district are not teaching Kiswahili effectively due to lack of trained professionals to handle the subject. Last year, the government rolled out the revised curriculum for lower secondary schools. About 16,000 teachers were trained to implement the new curriculum, however, Kiswahili teachers were lacking.

Educationists say that although Swahili is recognized in the constitution of Uganda as the second official language, the absence of teachers and negative perception about the language has greatly affected its use.  Many Ugandans attach the use of Swahili to criminality and violence.

Bosco Elyak, the headteacher of Maruzi seed secondary school in Apac Municipality, says that his school has failed to get a teacher to teach the subject. He noted that Kiswahili is still new to learners, saying that the majority of them are not interested in the language.  

//Cue in: “Kiswahili pol wa …  

Cue out: …bedo ape iye.”//

Edward Ogwang, the headteacher of Chegere secondary school, says that they have hired a primary school teacher to help them with Kiswahili after failing to find a trained secondary school teacher for the language. He said his school lacks teaching materials like textbooks to facilitate the learning of the language.

//Cue in: “Ya this is …

 

Cue out: …provided textbooks.”//



James Akeba, the head of Apac Seed secondary school revealed that his school is not yet teaching Kiswahili yet it is one of the subjects meant to be taught at the lower secondary school level, according to the new curriculum. He says the learners are missing lessons since the school has failed to get a teacher.

//Cue in: “Aco Apac seed …


Cue out: …pet ye amito,”//


Eric Wembale, a lecturer of Kiswahili at Uganda College of Commerce-Aduku, says that the language should be made compulsory from nursery school in order to enable Ugandans to master it. He suggests that the government should start forcing people to speak Swahili, adding that schools should equally be advised to facilitate Swahili debates among learners.  

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