Kiswahili Now Compulsory in Ugandan schools (1)
Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the ICT minister, announced the news to journalists on Tuesday.

Kiswahili language, mainly spoken in the East African region has now been made a core subject in all primary and secondary schools across Uganda.

Uganda has now made Kiswahili a compulsory subject in all primary and secondary schools across the country. Kiswahili is mostly spoken in the East African region.

The move came after the Cabinet approved the compulsory teaching and examination of the language in these schools with the aim of expediting the achievements of East African integration. 

The announcement was made by the ICT minister, Dr Chris Baryomunsi while addressing journalists on Tuesday. 

He said the Education Ministry will now decide in which education calendar this decision will be implemented.

“Cabinet approved the implementation of the 21st East Africa Community summit directive in Uganda to adopt Kiswahili as an official language of the community. Cabinet recommended that the teaching of the Kiswahili language in primary and secondary schools be made compulsory and examinable.”

Baryomunsi outlined that since Kiswahili has for long been the country’s second official language, the government saw the need to ensure it is widely understood and spoken by more Ugandans.

He noted that the language has for long been used by mostly those in the army because it helps them to communicate better with people in nearby African countries.

“Cabinet took note that Uganda has lagged behind in terms of practicing the use of Kiswahili as a national language. When you look at East African countries, Kiswahili is well spoken and understood but in Uganda it is not the case. We took note of the gap.”

“We took a decision that as Ugandans let us abandon attitude against Kiwashili and promote it as language in schools. The move we took is to make teaching of Kiswahili compulsory and examinable. Through that our children and young people will be able to understand it. That is how we all speak and understand English because it is compulsory.”

With this, he said if made compulsory as it has been, this will mean many Ugandans will invest in learning the language to boost their communication.

Meanwhile, some teachers have welcomed the idea although they cite a number of challenges including the scarcity of teachers well versed in the subject.

In an interview with NBS TV, Mr Nyende Godfrey the Headteacher of Kololo SS, said the Kiswahili teachers currently employed at his school are not on the government payroll.