The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Kenya slowly but surely kills Kiswahili by deleting language from compulsory subjects in Schools

“Kwaheri Kiswahili!”

Kenya seems to have applied a politically correct method in dropping Kiswahili from the country’s list of compulsory subjects being graded in National Secondary Schools Examinations.

Kenya’s Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu introduced a new grading system that will be used in the calculation of a candidate’s main grade.

This new system apparently now reduces the mandatory subjects down to only two.

Mathematics remains compulsory in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary School examinations (KCSE).

After the mandatory Mathematics, the students are now free to choose one more basic subject from a list of three; English, Kiswahili or the Kenya Sign Language.

For observers, this new grading system is essentially a death sentence to Kiswahili, a previously mandatory subject in schools, because in Kenya students find English to be much easier than the national language.

The new education grading system will be implemented effectively from this year’s national secondary examinations.

The new development is being announced just a few weeks before Kenyan students get to sit for the 2023 National Secondary Examinations.

Under the previous grading system, the final grades of students used to be calculated from their performances of the five compulsory subjects plus one humanities course.

In the previous grading system, students were evaluated based on Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, the two best-performed sciences, and two other best-performed electives, including a humanity course.

All that has been overhauled, and now the newly introduced system will be assessing students based on two compulsory subjects and any five other best-performed subjects.

This is effectively altering the way students’ academic achievements are assessed and according to the Education CS, it is supposed to make it easier for scholars to join higher institutes of learning, especially universities.

Kenya is one of the seven Member States forming the East African Community (EAC) which treats Kiswahili as lingua franca and was on fast track to join English as one of the official means of communication.

Elsewhere on the continent, Kiswahili has been receiving massive support and promotion, some even suggesting that the language being spoken by nearly 100 million people, should be made the official African tongue.

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