Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has asked the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to consider retaining Kiswahili as a compulsory subject in the new curriculum.
He said Kiswahili is a central part of the Kenya’s curriculum and has been a compulsory subject of study under the current system of education.
He said government should support the study of Kiswahili as a language of communication used by millions of in Kenya and in the East African region.
He made the remarks during the launch of ‘KAMUSI KUU YA KISWAHILI’ at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. The dictionary is published by Longhorn Publishers under the auspices of BAKITA)—an acronym of the National Council of Swahili in Tanzania—which is a government agency in the Republic of Tanzania under the Ministry of Arts, Communication and Culture.
Dr Matiang’i said the dictionary will reinforce the learners’ competence in Kiswahili and also their understanding of the other subjects offered in the school’s curriculum.
He said the government had asked schools offering International Curriculum to teach its students Kiswahili up to grade nine.
He said the Ministry of education would recommend the use of the dictionary in basic educational institutions in the country.
Kiswahili Ambassador, former First Lady of Tanzania Mama Salma Kikwete underscored the importance of Kiswahili as a tool of communication and repository of a people’s cultural heritage.
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She expressed the need for Kenyans to be proud of Kiswahili as their own indigenous language instead of looking down upon it.
She said Kiswahili had the capacity to enable embody the knowledge, skills and abilities of mankind, saying counties such as China had nurtured their own languages which ably met their socioeconomic needs and aspirations.
Present during the occasion included Director General Robert Masese, Longhorn Publishers Group chairman F.T. Nyammo, Longhorn Tanzania Board Chairman Hatibu K. Senkoro and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Tanzania, Dr Maria Semakafu.