Education Experts Skeptical of Teaching Pupils In Rutooro

1585 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Nathan Asiimwe, a parent says that there is still need to first strengthen district language boards. The 2007 National Language Policy mandates District Language Boards to promote the use of local languages in primary schools and improve literacy in the district.

Education experts in Tooro region are sceptical about the recommendation by Tooro Elders Forum to teach and examine pupils in Rutooro language.  

Last month, the Tooro Elders Forum, a pressure group that brings together elders and opinion leaders in Tooro Kingdom, resolved that all schools in the region should teach and examine students in Rutooro. 

They argue that this will help promote the language and literacy in the region. 

But Nancy Katusabe, a retired head teacher, says that while teaching in the mother tongue is good, it could be hampered by lack of standardised orthography and instructional materials such as reference books. 

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Orthography refers to the conventional spelling system of a language. It is key to teaching pronunciation. Moses Musinguzi, another retired teacher says that schools face a similar problem because teachers come from different tribes, which makes it hard for them to teach a common version of Rutooro.

Rachael Kabasinguzi, a teacher at Karambi Primary School, says the recommendation will remain on paper because some teachers are overloaded with work and could run away from teaching local languages. She says the matter has been complicated by the overwhelming enrolment where one class has more than 200 children.

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Nathan Asiimwe, a parent says that there is still need to first strengthen district language boards. The 2007 National Language Policy mandates District Language Boards to promote the use of local languages in primary schools and improve literacy in the district.

Asiimwe says that the board should develop learning materials like alphabet charts, story books and collections of folktales, proverbs and similes to facilitate the learning of Rutooro. He explains that the board should help writers on the correct Rutooro language spellings, grammar and pronunciations.

In 2007, the Education ministry rolled out the thematic curriculum, which promotes the teaching in the mother tongue in P1 and P2. It seeks to develop basic language skills for lifelong learning. 

Teachers adopt themes related to children's experiences to increase interest in learning the different subjects they will study in later years.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.