Kenya and South Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a foundation for the introduction of Kiswahili as an elective language in the South African educational system. This is South Africa’s next step in fully integrating Kiswahili as an indigenous language to promote unity and social cohesion with fellow Africans. – May 2019
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha signed the agreement on behalf of the government while South Africa’s Minister Basic Education Angelina Matsie Motshekga signed on behalf her country. Beginning 2020, Kiswahili language will be taught in South African schools as an optional subject.
The Signing of the MOU paves way for the introduction of Kiswahili teaching in South Africa, which will add to the bulk of many languages taught in the country.Speaking at his office in Jogoo House, Nairobi, after signing the MOU; Prof Magoha lauded the development as a step forward to strengthen collaboration between the two countries.
Motshekga on the other hand said that 40 per cent of learners in South Africa are currently are either learning or speaking Kiswahili. This, she said would be beneficial to developing country’s educational system.
The signing which took place in Jogoo House, was also witnessed by Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang.
The agreement will provide the basis for Kenya to share technical capabilities in education, apart from extending Kiswahili language into the South African lingua franca.
According to Magoha, the MoU will strengthen the cordial relations between Kenya and South Africa, saying the Kiswahili aspect of the agreement will forge stronger links between the peoples of the two countries.
He said many Kenyans were training in medicine and other disciplines in South African Universities, saying the mutual exchange of intellectual capital was beneficial to the two counties. Motshekga said that that about 40 per cent of learners in South African speak Kiswahili.
She noted that the MoU will make it possible for learners in South African to take up Kiswahili as an optional language besides French and Portuguese languages. Another area of mutual cooperation shall be the teaching and learning through Digital curriculum delivery.
Motshekga lauded Kenya the Digital Learning Programme, saying it had the potential to address gaps in skills between learners apart from addressing the problem of teacher shortage.