A Comparison of the Cultural Policies on Language Development in Tanzania and Uganda: A Reflection on the Teaching of Kiswahili in Uganda
In Uganda and Tanzania, culture policies are among the key documents that provide for the statuses and educational functions of languages in these countries. Tanzania’s culture policy (famously known as Sera ya Utamaduni) explicitly postulates the statuses and the development of languages in its multilingual contexts. In Uganda, while Kiswahili is a foreign as well as the second official language, Uganda’s culture policy provides no references for its teaching in schools. This paper argues that the silence by Uganda’s culture policy to postulate the teaching of Kiswahili in schools contributes towards the further deceleration of its teaching in the country. Using Bowen’s (2009) proposals on text analysis, this paper reviews, compares and evaluates purposely selected texts on language development (mainly, in terms of teaching) from the Sera ya Utamaduni and Uganda National Culture Policy (UNCP). It intends to provide highlights on the Kiswahili (language) teaching gaps in the UNCP with possible solutions to be drawn from Tanzania’s cultural policy. In general, it advocates designing of a comprehensive and viable culture and/or language policy that can benchmark the teaching of Kiswahili (and other languages) within multilingual Ugandan classrooms.