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Uganda: Poor literacy, numeracy in both L1s & English

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  • Donald Z. Osborn
    The following excerpt from an article in the Kampala daily New Vision ( Make Luganda, Luo And Lugbara Uganda s National Languages, by Livingstone Walusimbi,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 16, 2005
      The following excerpt from an article in the Kampala daily New Vision ("Make
      Luganda, Luo And Lugbara Uganda's National Languages," by Livingstone
      Walusimbi, March 7, 2005; http://allafrica.com/stories/200503071400.html ;
      http://www.newvision.co.ug/ ) may be of interest. Poor student performance is
      apparently related to monolingual non-first language (or if I understand
      correctly, in some cases *bilingual* non-first language) instruction. The
      author of the article criticizes the mandate to educate in English (official
      language spoken by many but not as a first language [L1]) and Swahili
      (apparently not the L1 of many, but important in neighboring Kenya and
      Tanzania), but not in the indigenous languages of Uganda. (Full article was
      reposted to MINEL and AfricanLanguages.) DZO


      The [Ugandan] Curriculum Review Commission found out that the overall
      performance levels of primary schools especially UPE pupils was very poor.
      Children did not acquire adequate literacy and numeracy skills in either native
      languages or in English. Failure to achieve early literacy and numeracy was the
      major cause of poor performance. The serious fall in primary education
      standards has been due to very poor administration of the Central Government.
      There was no school supervision at all.


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