Tanzania, South Africa ink Kiswahili teaching deal

Wednesday July 06 2022
Angelina Motshekga

Tanzania’s Education, Science and Technology minister Adolf Mkenda shakes hands with his South African counterpart Matsie Angelina Motshekga (left), shortly after concluding their meeting in Dar es Salaam on Monday. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Naomi Achien'g

Dar es Salaam. One of Africa’s most widely spoken languages, Kiwahili will soon be taught in South African classrooms after the negotiating journey that began in 2018 reaching a better outcome through a formal agreement to be signed tomorrow here.

The language, which is the national and official language in Tanzania, has continued to penetrate the world, prompting Unesco to declare July 7, every year as the World Kiswahili Language Day.

So, as the world celebrates the day tomorrow, Education, Science and Technology minister Adolf Mkenda and his South African counterpart for Basic Education Angelina Motshekga will formalise the teaching of Kiswahili in the latter’s country.

This, the duo said was one of the ways to promote greater social cohesion among Africans, as well as offer more opportunities to Swahili-speakers from East African countries to spread the Kiswahili language and culture.

“We are here as South Africa to follow up on what we had already committed to ourselves concerning the teaching of Kiswahili in our country, a journey that was disrupted by Covid-19,” said Ms Motshekga during a visit to Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School in the city yesterday.

“With the finalisation of the agreement that we will be signing tomorrow we will see cooperation in the areas of curriculum, see how you do things as far as Kiswahili teaching is concerned, teacher training, exchange on materials and also the assessment tools,” she further noted.

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He said being part of a continent where Swahili language is becoming more widespread, they need as one African nation to ensure that their children learn the language that is most widely spoken on the continent in order to promote African culture together.

For his part, the deputy minister in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr David Silinde, said that the opportunity was unveiled for Tanzanians.

He noted that as a government they were committed to helping the language be taught in South Africa and other countries that will need it.

“This agreement is a great opportunity for Tanzanians who are competent in this language. After the signing, a committee will be formed to coordinate each step with the teachers who will be teaching and anything else that will be required,” said Mr Silinde.