CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

France doubles Kenyans employed as trainers of English

The exchanges were part of the bilateral agreements witnessed by Presidents Uhuru and Macron

In Summary

• For the first time also, French teachers of France will in September this year be employed at the University of Nairobi and the Technical University of Kenya.

• France Ambassador to Kenya and Somalia Aline Kuster-Menager said the doubling of the numbers to 122 Kenyans demonstrates success of the project.

Faith Kiprop, Joshua Ngao, Cynthia Emwatok and Sarah Mossin among the Kenyan students who have been sponsored to teach English in France during the Bastille Day Concert at Alliance Franciase, Nairobi, on July 14, 2021
Faith Kiprop, Joshua Ngao, Cynthia Emwatok and Sarah Mossin among the Kenyan students who have been sponsored to teach English in France during the Bastille Day Concert at Alliance Franciase, Nairobi, on July 14, 2021
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

France has doubled the number of Kenyan students to be recruited as English language teaching assistants.

For the first time also, French teachers of France will in September this year be employed at the University of Nairobi and the Technical University of Kenya.

Speaking to the Star on Wednesday during Bastille Day celebrations in Nairobi, France Ambassador to Kenya and Somalia Aline Kuster-Menager said the doubling of the numbers to 122 Kenyans demonstrates the success of the programme.

“We are investing in the youth because they are the future here in Kenya and also in France. Our focus is to use their energies to promote the relations between France and Kenya in the various failures fields, particularly those that touch lives,” Ambassador Kuster-Menager said.

“These assistant teachers work all over France and are able to exchange cultures," she said.

The language exchanges were part of the bilateral agreements witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s visit to Kenya in March 2019.

The agreements seek to reinforce language exchanges by promoting their languages in the partner education system.

The language teaching assistant programme under the Ministry of Education of France allows students from 63 countries to teach English in France in primary and secondary schools for seven months.

Kenya was included in the list in 2019 after the signing of the agreement.

The first batch of 59 students was selected for the 2019-20 academic year, increased to 70 in 2020-21 and to 122 in 2021-22.

Kenya is the first African country of origin for teaching assistants of English and fourth globally, the French embassy said.

Among other opportunities the embassy offers for cultural exchanges include scholarships for trainings in France in cultural sector, funding cultural festivals and other events in creative industry as well as creative spaces in Kenya.