By Ritah Kemigisa
Government has been asked to come up with a strict policy to enforce the teaching of lower and pre-primary classes in local languages.
This comes at a time UNESCO has warned that every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.
Statistics further show that at least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.
James Kabogoza, a retired Assistant commissioner for children, in the ministry of gender and development says introducing a child to their local language early enough will help to preserve the language.
“It is a policy issue, it’s not a parent, the authority must insist but then they also need to learn that the best language to learn is a mother language,” says Mr Kabogoza.
Hatie Opondo, a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate at Texas university says there is need to fight internalized racism and also educate parents to take pride in their cultural heritage.
“we need to address the issue of internalized racism where parents prefer the western culture to the Ugandan one where we think that when you speak Luganda, Runyakole then you are local. When a child speaks then they are better,” said Mr Opondo.
In 2005, Parliament approved the Thematic Curriculum, which required children in P1 to P3 to be taught in local mother tongues as the medium of instruction, before resorting to English from P4 onwards.