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November 18, 2018

Kenya cannot teach in all local languages

Suba instruments as displayed by TICAH -Trust for Indigenous Culture And Heritage
Suba instruments as displayed by TICAH -Trust for Indigenous Culture And Heritage

On Thursday the Abasuba community petitioned the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to teach pupils in the Suba language rather than in Dholuo.

The Suba, originally Bantu's with their own language have been assimilated by the Luo. Prominent Suba have included Tom Mboya, Otieno Kajwang and Evans Kidero.

Globally it is recognised that primary school children should start learning in their mother tongue before they go on to study at higher levels in national languages like English or Swahili.

Nevertheless there is a problem that there are 68 languages in Kenya. It is not possible to find teachers, create educational materials and publish books in all those languages. Unavoidably the Education ministry must restrict teaching to the main language groups like Dholuo, Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Kiswahili and Kamba.

Moreover many minor language groups are dying out. Many Suba children only know Dholuo. Teaching them in Suba would be just as hard as them learning in English. The same applies to the Ogiek who are now largely speaking Kalenjin.

Sadly this is the way of the modern world.

 

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Patrick Viera

The France and Arsenal footballer was born on June 23, 1976

 

 

 

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