US gives Shs140b to boost teaching in local languages

Kampala- The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development, has offered US$56 million (about Shs140 billion) to 3,300 primary schools around the country to support thematic curriculum and use of local languages as a medium of instruction.

The programme dubbed ‘School Health and Reading Programme,’ will also increase literacy and health-seeking behaviour among children.

The US Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Scott DeLisi, made the revelation on Friday while visiting Lake Victoria Primary School in Entebbe.

He said the programme, to be implemented in more than 30 districts, will help linguistic experts to design literacy programmes for teaching mother tongue in early learning and later transit to English after primary three.

The funding comes amid concerns that 14 years after the ministry of Education introduced the thematic curriculum in lower primary (P1 to P3), it is yet to be fully embraced. Concerns have been raised by most parents who think that teaching children in local languages undermines their children’s education.

Mr DeLisi also said they are developing student text books in local languages and English, as well as teacher handbooks in local languages.

“To support classroom teaching of reading in local languages and English, we hope to distribute supplementary reading books to 352 schools by close of 2014,” he added.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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