Schools in Hoima City are badly hunting for Kiswahili teachers and Kiswahili language teaching materials in order to embrace the government’s call to promote the East African language.
Kazi-njema online radio has established that some schools started and shortly later stopped teaching Kiswahili due to lack of qualified, reliable and enough teachers.
Ms Harriet Karungi, the Hoima Public primary school head teacher, says they have suspended Kiswahili teaching due to lack of a teacher.
She reveals that the teacher that the school had hired to offer lessons at least in Primary Four and Primary Five left them in suspense when he got a higher pay in private schools.
The head teacher regrets that the teachers who trained long ago never had an opportunity of learning Kiswahili and that unfortunately; many of those graduating nowadays also appear not to be competent enough to teach the language.
“I have discovered that they are taught the language but they do not practice it when they move to the field for school practice. It seems they are also taught because it is on the curriculum but not to implement it,” she says.
On the teaching materials, Ms Karungi says the school was only given Primary Four text books in 2018 until now.
Mr Chris Irumba Kabanaku, a Kiswahili teacher at St Maliko Senior Secondary School, says though there is a change in the learners’ attitude about Kiswahili, the challenge of teachers and teaching materials remains serious.
He says that he teaches in another four schools in the city which is hectic without substitutes.
St Maliko commonly known as St Mark which started teaching Kiswahili language in 2018 is among the first schools to embrace Kiswahili in Bunyoro.
Mr Johnson Kusiima Baingana, the Hoima City Principal Education Officer, acknowledges the teaching staff and the teaching material challenges.
However, he says the government is working around the clock to ensure that it identifies eligible contractors to print sufficient Kiswahili books for all learning levels.
Those challenges are not restricted to Hoima city but to the entire country.
The comments emerge as Uganda prepares to host the second World Kiswahili Day on 7th this month.
Uganda lags behind Kenya and Tanzania in terms of promoting the East African Lingua Franca – Kiswahili.
Uganda declared Kiswahili compulsory in all schools as one of its key steps to advance the language.