Primary schools in Jinja Municipality are teaching Luganda, instead of Lusoga, as the local language in lower primary level.
An assessment conducted by URN in some of the schools indicates that children in Primary I, 2, and 3 are taught how to read and write in Luganda, in disregard of the thematic curriculum introduced by the Ministry of Education ten years ago.
Under the thematic curriculum, pupils are taught in their mother tongue to enable them read, write and understand easily.
Flavia Buwereza, the deputy Headteacher at Narambhai Road Primary School told our reporter that the school decided to opt for Luganda because Lusoga is hard. She notes that even the teachers are not trained how to write and read the language.
She notes that the government should start training the teachers in Lusoga.
Mbala Sadhat, the headteacher of Katende Bright Primary School, says that they adopted Luganda because the teaching materials are easy to get. He notes that none of his teachers can ably read or write Lusoga language.
One of the teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity told URN that teaching Luganda to children who come from families that speak Lusoga is a challenge.”Sometimes these children end up failing both languages because while at home they speak Lusoga, at school we are teaching them in Luganda.”she said
Ann Kakaire, the deputy headteacher of Main Street Primary School notes that the school lacks Lusoga text books and therefore limiting the school in teaching the language.
Paul Baliraine, the Jinja district Senior Inspector of Schools, acknowledges the challenge noting that it heavily affects the ability of pupils to understand English. He notes that they have now started teaching Lusoga in teachers’ training colleges so that the district increases the number of teachers who can teach the language.
“This financial year we have set aside 36 million shillings for teachers skills development. We are planning to train teachers in Lusoga through workshops,”he said
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation-UNESCO, education and information in the mother language is essential to improving learning and developing confidence and self-esteem, which are among the most powerful engines of development.
On February 21st, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Mother Tongue Day, proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 with the objective of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity.
On this day, the Minister of state for gender and culture, Peace Mutuuzo, recommended for the use of local dialects to help develop mother languages.