By Wilber Muhwezi Kasibante
Last week cabinet Of Uganda chaired by President Yoweri Museveni passed a policy making Kiswahili a compulsory subject both at primary and lower secondary beginning first term 2023.
BUT WHO STARTED SWAHILI TEACHING IN UGANDA
Prof. Emmanuel Karoro while a student at National teachers college Kyambogo in 1972, had a tour with colleagues to Nakuru in Kenya and when he reached there, they spent three days but the language mostly used was Kiswahili which he didn’t know.
He was challenged and inspired at the same time. What he knew was only nataka matooke na nyama literally meaning I need banana and meat.
The other time was when he was an examiner for religious education and English at East African examinations council which was replaced UNEB. It was an examination body for the three countries; Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
While in Nairobi for every year, Kiswahili was means of communication by the public and some of the examiners.
FINALLY KISWAHILI TEACHING STARTS IN UGANDA (DREAM COME TRUE!)
While Prof. Karoro was a director at National teachers college which was turned into Bishop Stuart university early 2000, he decided to start to a diploma in Kiswahili for secondary and primary levels.
He and prof. Mukama of Makerere University developed a curriculum and syllabus and took it to Kyambogo where it was approved .
He started with only 58 students and for information reader, this was the first and the only Kiswahili teaching institution in Uganda.
Prof. Karoro recalls that getting teachers for Kiswahili was very hard and even officials dubbed him proud wondering where he would get teachers from.
He began with only two lecturers; Ali Kamihanda and Mr. Rwabushaija Milton.
The first pioneer 58 students included the former Sheema district chairman can. David Kabigumira, Rtd. Senior commissioner of police Laban muhabwe among others.
With the above initiative, the ministry of education became impressed and gave scholarships to some of the 58 students to do a degree at the only present university then Makerere University.
The examiners of the pioneer Kiswahili students at national teachers Kakoba were from the embassy of Tanzania in Uganda.
In 2001 prof. Emmanuel Karoro, wrote a book about the history of kiswahili in Uganda
Other National Teachers College started teaching the subject but bench marking for national teachers college Kakoba.
Karoro noted that despite the fact that Kiswahili has been made compulsory in all learning institutions of Uganda, the government of Uganda has never recognized him as a brain behind Kiswahili teaching in Uganda.
Only in 2021, he was only recognized by Tanzania broadcasting services in conjunction with Uganda Broadcasting services.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website