[lg policy] Tanzania: Kiswahili Use in Varsities Mooted

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 19 14:42:21 UTC 2013

Tanzania: Kiswahili Use in Varsities Mooted 18 June 2013

Dodoma — THE government is working on recommendations to make Kiswahili the
medium of instruction in secondary schools and in higher education
institutions such as universities.

The Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Mr Amos
Makalla, said in the National Assembly that the government had received the
recommendations from various quarters and was working on them. "We have
received the recommendations.

We are working on them," the Deputy Minister said in his reply to a
supplementary question from Gosbert Blandes (Karagwe, CCM), who wanted to
know when the government would change the medium of instruction in higher
education from English to Kiswahili.

According to the current cultural policy in Tanzania, Kiswahili is the
medium of instruction at primary education level and is taught as a
compulsory subject at secondary education and as option at tertiary
education. "English is the medium of instruction at post primary education.
It is taught as compulsory subject in the primary education," Mr Makalla

Kiswahili is the language used in Parliament, in various ministries and in
the lower judicial courts. However, English is still the language of higher
courts. There has been a raging debate on whether or not it is appropriate
to change the language policy and make Kiswahili the language in all levels
of education.

The deputy minister said that Tanzania had opened a centre for teaching
Kiswahili language at the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, to
train more language experts who will be used as interpreters in AU meetings
and work as Kiswahili language experts at the headquarters.

The deputy minister had earlier said that experts in Kiswahili language
from institutions of higher learning and other organisations such as BAKITA
were working on developing the language and promoting its use in and
outside the country.

The deputy minister said Tanzania has no specific policy on language but it
has been covered in the cultural policy of 1997. He said the policy is
regarded as the national language and one of two official languages of the

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