Kenya: National Language Committee to be launched

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Sep 12 13:09:49 UTC 2006

  Tuesday September 12, 2006

 Minister roots for a national book policy

By Allan Kisia

Cabinet minister, Mr Maina Kamanda, has called for the development of a
national book policy. The Sports, Culture and Social Services minister
said the policy would address the challenges facing the reading culture,
which is deteriorating. "When you are informed, you are bound to make
accurate decisions that will lead to sustainable development," he said.
Kamanda was speaking in his office on Monday when he launched the first
national reading pavilion, whose theme is Becoming a Reading Nation.

The pavilion, organised by institutions under the National Book
Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK), will be held from September 28 and
30. It will feature local languages, including Ekegusii, Pokot, Kamba,
Kuria, Maasai, Gikuyu, Dholuo, and international languages. Among the
foreign languages to be showcased are English, French, Chinese, German,
Japanese, Malay, Arabic and Hindi. Kamanda said his ministry had
established district and provincial community language committees to
promote indigenous languages. "We will launch the National Language
Committee before the end of this month," he said.

The pavilion will also celebrate the Year of African Languages, which was
declared by the African Union. The minister said African languages should
be revitalised to make them a central tool for communities development. He
said the national policy, once developed, should be incorporated in school
curriculum. The pavilion will also feature issues on HIV/Aids, family life
education, community policing and drug abuse. NDBCK chairman, Mr Samuel
Maitha, said the event would also display communities culture and
artifacts. Kamanda said the Government has also established district and
provincial Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations.


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