Views from Fiona: Ugandans Still Colonized?

Views from Fiona: Ugandans Still Colonized?


The issue of teaching our children to be fluent in our former masters' ways at the expense of ours. Do you agree with Fiona?

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: January 8, 2006


Our traditional languages or mother tongue languages are slowly but surely disappearing and in their wake European languages taking root. English is a lingua franca language for the world, so in this age and era everybody must learn the language. What amazes me is the policy of education in this country where children at kindergarten are taught in English debasing their mother tongue. When you visit a home in urban areas dont get surprised when the mode of communication is English at home question. As if at school, home communication is done in English. When and where will the children learn their mother tongue?

We are still slaves to our former masters believe you me. I was shocked when on a wedding we were attending the newly weds required the services of an interpreter from Luganda to English yet they were all Baganda! I found it utterly interesting that these two could not understand the language of their parents. There is need for the government to change the policy of education, at least lower primary should be taught in childrens mother tongue. Then they can transform into English when the pupils join upper primary level.

A Swedish lady while visiting a primary school upcountry was astounded the kids were singing in fluent English. The school authorities thought she would be impressed. She only had this to say: Oh! Poor children, already colonized. She went on to ask why the same song taught to them was not in their own language?

Ngugi wa Thiongo, the famous Kenyan novelist, while in Uganda to address a public lecture on the 10th of August 2004, asked why we dont preserve our languages and culture and that we often look in awe when some one says they are fluent in German, French, Dutch or Italian but frown if somebody says they speak Yoruba Runyankole, Xhosa and Swahili we ask but why?

I find I agree with Ngugis view of thinking. We debase our culture and embrace foreign ones without keeping ours alive.

Most foreign missions here have language sessions. I acknowledge the world is becoming a global village and that there is need to learn two or more languages. Alliance France, the German Cultural Foundation and many more teach their languages. My call to stake holders is there should a policy put in place to preserve our indigenous languages because language is culture and we need to be proud of our culture.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: January 8, 2006
Fiona Abaasa is a visitor of UGPulse.com.

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