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Dropping Swahili as a Subject in Schools.
Ngalaka
#1 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 11:07:22 AM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 10/29/2008
Posts: 1,566
Is it really necessary for us as Country to continue teaching Swahili as an examinable subject in our schools!

Couldn’t we leave it to parents and the society in general to teach Swahili in our communities – the same way vernacular dialects are handled in rural Kenya.

Let’s face it what tangible benefit do we derive from teaching Swahili all the way to high school.
I understand all the sentimentalities about national language et cetera, which in practical terms amounts to no more than ornamentalism.

Come to think of it, does the Swahili spoken across Kenya have any direct connection with Kiswahili the subject in our Schools. Would that spoken Swahili suffer any significant negative effect if we stopped teaching Swahili as a compulsory and examinable subject up to form four?

Why burden our kids with such subjects that aren’t taking them anywhere anytime soon?
Make no mistake about it Swahili as a subject aren’t a walk in the park. What with all the Ngelis, kanushas, kinyumes, methalis, ningali…, ningeli…., uchache, wingi, ndogo, wastani, ukubwa and so on.

Is it even a complete stable and stand alone language – it keeps on morphing constantly, compared to other languages. If you left high school more than 15 years ago, the Swahili you learnt has considerably been modified – sanifu vs mufti.

As an economy we expend resources to teach it to all of our kids, all the way to KCSE. Then what! How many thereafter take it further than that and to what purposes! May be training as teacher to go back and teach the same – which leaves us in a vicious cycle. May be a few journalists to serve a E. African population. Irony is, even here in Kenya, the real prime time for watching Television, and catching up with News – 9pm, the language of choice is English!!

To serve this narrow and limited need, we can make Swahili a choice subject for the few who are so inclined so they may end up becoming journalists in Swahili or “Scholars” for whatever it is worth.

For our Schools therefore, I would suggest that we only universally induct the pupils to Kiswahili up to class three and then drop it.

They can then concentrate on Maths, Sciences, economics and other disciplines relevant to today’s world such as ICT.

I don’t know about CRE/IRE.
Isuni yilu yi maa me muyo - ni Mbisuu
masukuma
#2 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 11:54:08 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 10/4/2006
Posts: 13,628
Location: Nairobi
boss... who told you school is to prepare you for a career? that's an unintended by product!! Education is for EDUCATION SAKE! people just use it as a kichungi coz they don't know better!
All Mushrooms are edible! Some Mushroom are only edible ONCE!
majimaji
#3 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 11:57:49 AM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 4/4/2007
Posts: 1,162

Kiswahili kitukuzwe, kwani lugha ya taifa.
masukuma
#4 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 11:58:34 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 10/4/2006
Posts: 13,628
Location: Nairobi
I personally at this stage am very grateful that I did kiswahili! I love it! I didn't do well in school at it but I love it! it's such a dear language to me that when I travel and meet others and we start chatting in exclussive swa... it makes me high! exclusive swa! using words kama mjini, nyumbani... dropping misemo here and there... just lovely! I was on an interview juzi where I used words like "MFUMO MBADALA! sheria na Kanuni, michakato na taratibu..." I loved it!!
All Mushrooms are edible! Some Mushroom are only edible ONCE!
tycho
#5 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 11:59:17 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,804
Location: Nairobi
First, it's 'Kiswahili'.

You seem to be suggesting that a language shouldn't morph rapidly as kiswahili seems to be. But a language should always morph and it's rate isn't to be governed from a center. Language in fact can only be centrally managed under oppressive conditions.

An important point you seem to be missing is that the utility of language doesn't have to be measured using GDP. Language, at the very least affords users 'existential comfort' which basically means language reduces the sense of alienation between humans and the universe.

In this case, if Africans, or even Kenyans should abandon the native language that links them together as a nation and state, and given how much time an individual may take to learn a foreign language like English - 16 years in my estimation- and how many people actually get this amount of time to learn, then it's easy to see how much alienation and anarchy the nation state may have.

If we consider the age you're expecting to drop Kiswahili from school, we may wonder what rationale has been used for such a suggestion. If anything a language facilitates cognitive development. And the age you're prescribing is at the very beginning of cognitive development. The question is, why this particular age? And how does it impact the development of the child and the people around them?

Finally, who told you that the most important subjects that one should learn are
Quote:
Maths, Sciences, economics and other disciplines relevant to today’s world such as ICT.
? And why do they necessarily exclude other languages? For example, I'd expect you to recommend that children learn 'Chinese'. How can one learn non-native languages without learning their own native language(s). For me one can only learn a language if it is backed up by everyday realities and or if the language can be translated and compared to a native language that describes everyday realities.

I suggest we rethink this proposal and mainly through a remembering of what language is and its utility.

tycho
#6 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 12:18:25 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,804
Location: Nairobi
Dropping Kiswahili may be an act of genocide against the Swahili people in the first place, and even ultimately the 'African' people.
chemirocha
#7 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 12:21:34 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 1/30/2016
Posts: 332
Location: Rift Valley
Kiswahili is our national language and lingua franca in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region. It is an important subject and also a very beautiful language.
Ngalaka
#8 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 12:42:06 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 10/29/2008
Posts: 1,566
masukuma wrote:
I personally at this stage am very grateful that I did kiswahili! I love it! I didn't do well in school at it but I love it! it's such a dear language to me that when I travel and meet others and we start chatting in exclussive swa... it makes me high! exclusive swa! using words kama mjini, nyumbani... dropping misemo here and there... just lovely! I was on an interview juzi where I used words like "MFUMO MBADALA! sheria na Kanuni, michakato na taratibu..." I loved it!!

Most of us, and I guess that includes you, are also very proficient in our vernacular languages even though we didn't take them in school.
Heck our politicians are at their best when they switch to vernacular - the figures of speech, the connection....

Even watu wa mambasani who never went to school speak more appealing swahili to yours - while you probably got an "A" in the language.

The point is a language is not necessarily embraced because it is taught in school, - at what expense.
Isuni yilu yi maa me muyo - ni Mbisuu
2012
#9 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 12:42:19 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 12/9/2009
Posts: 6,592
Location: Nairobi
Ngalaka wrote:
Is it really necessary for us as Country to continue teaching Swahili as an examinable subject in our schools!

Couldn’t we leave it to parents and the society in general to teach Swahili in our communities – the same way vernacular dialects are handled in rural Kenya.

Let’s face it what tangible benefit do we derive from teaching Swahili all the way to high school.
I understand all the sentimentalities about national language et cetera, which in practical terms amounts to no more than ornamentalism.

Come to think of it, does the Swahili spoken across Kenya have any direct connection with Kiswahili the subject in our Schools. Would that spoken Swahili suffer any significant negative effect if we stopped teaching Swahili as a compulsory and examinable subject up to form four?

Why burden our kids with such subjects that aren’t taking them anywhere anytime soon?
Make no mistake about it Swahili as a subject aren’t a walk in the park. What with all the Ngelis, kanushas, kinyumes, methalis, ningali…, ningeli…., uchache, wingi, ndogo, wastani, ukubwa and so on.

Is it even a complete stable and stand alone language – it keeps on morphing constantly, compared to other languages. If you left high school more than 15 years ago, the Swahili you learnt has considerably been modified – sanifu vs mufti.

As an economy we expend resources to teach it to all of our kids, all the way to KCSE. Then what! How many thereafter take it further than that and to what purposes! May be training as teacher to go back and teach the same – which leaves us in a vicious cycle. May be a few journalists to serve a E. African population. Irony is, even here in Kenya, the real prime time for watching Television, and catching up with News – 9pm, the language of choice is English!!

To serve this narrow and limited need, we can make Swahili a choice subject for the few who are so inclined so they may end up becoming journalists in Swahili or “Scholars” for whatever it is worth.

For our Schools therefore, I would suggest that we only universally induct the pupils to Kiswahili up to class three and then drop it.

They can then concentrate on Maths, Sciences, economics and other disciplines relevant to today’s world such as ICT.

I don’t know about CRE/IRE.



Ati leave it to which parents? Parents who can't teach there children their own language leave alone any examinable subject?

We all did Kiswahili and it did not hurt us so I see no reason to exclude it. But assuming we drop it, which language do you suggest we replace it with? French? Chinese? German?

BBI will solve it
:)
tycho
#10 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:05:27 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,804
Location: Nairobi
Ngalaka wrote:
masukuma wrote:
I personally at this stage am very grateful that I did kiswahili! I love it! I didn't do well in school at it but I love it! it's such a dear language to me that when I travel and meet others and we start chatting in exclussive swa... it makes me high! exclusive swa! using words kama mjini, nyumbani... dropping misemo here and there... just lovely! I was on an interview juzi where I used words like "MFUMO MBADALA! sheria na Kanuni, michakato na taratibu..." I loved it!!

Most of us, and I guess that includes you, are also very proficient in our vernacular languages even though we didn't take them in school.
Heck our politicians are at their best when they switch to vernacular - the figures of speech, the connection....

Even watu wa mambasani who never went to school speak more appealing swahili to yours - while you probably got an "A" in the language.

The point is a language is not necessarily embraced because it is taught in school, - at what expense.


True. A language isn't necessarily embraced because it's taught in school. So why is a language taught in school?

Ngalaka
#11 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:11:21 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 10/29/2008
Posts: 1,566
tycho wrote:
Ngalaka wrote:
masukuma wrote:
I personally at this stage am very grateful that I did kiswahili! I love it! I didn't do well in school at it but I love it! it's such a dear language to me that when I travel and meet others and we start chatting in exclussive swa... it makes me high! exclusive swa! using words kama mjini, nyumbani... dropping misemo here and there... just lovely! I was on an interview juzi where I used words like "MFUMO MBADALA! sheria na Kanuni, michakato na taratibu..." I loved it!!

Most of us, and I guess that includes you, are also very proficient in our vernacular languages even though we didn't take them in school.
Heck our politicians are at their best when they switch to vernacular - the figures of speech, the connection....

Even watu wa mambasani who never went to school speak more appealing swahili to yours - while you probably got an "A" in the language.

The point is a language is not necessarily embraced because it is taught in school, - at what expense.


True. A language isn't necessarily embraced because it's taught in school. So why is a language taught in school?


For its practical benefits to a nation - international commerce.
Swahili is out of its depth on this.
Isuni yilu yi maa me muyo - ni Mbisuu
Rahatupu
#12 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:13:18 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 12/4/2009
Posts: 1,981
Location: matano manne
@Tycho thanks. @Ngalaka have you ever been abroad in non English speaking country? You try communicate in English and they ask you to speak your own language? Been in such scenario in Germany, Italy and Russia. Where is your pride?

Secondly, pride boss.....in our "Africaness" if not anything else. Why not make it the language of instruction for all subjects?

Now I know what Ngugi meant by urging in Decolonizing the Mind by reloading at our African languages. Kiswahili (not Swahili) is at the par with the so called international languages.
Anti_Burglar
#13 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:14:38 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 9/11/2015
Posts: 1,024
If everybody had their way to do away with subjects they were not good at in school, where would we be?
Ngalaka
#14 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:21:20 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 10/29/2008
Posts: 1,566
Rahatupu wrote:
@Tycho thanks. @Ngalaka have you ever been abroad in non English speaking country? You try communicate in English and they ask you to speak your own language? Been in such scenario in Germany, Italy and Russia. Where is your pride?

Secondly, pride boss.....in our "Africaness" if not anything else. Why not make it the language of instruction for all subjects?

Now I know what Ngugi meant by urging in Decolonizing the Mind by reloading at our African languages. Kiswahili (not Swahili) is at the par with the so called international languages.

We have our "own" languages bwana - 42 of them. We speak them better than any other language we learnt in school - be it English or Swahili.

Tanzania has taken the route you suggest for us. where has it left them and their education system.
The number of Kenyan expatriates there tells it all.
Isuni yilu yi maa me muyo - ni Mbisuu
tycho
#15 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:31:22 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,804
Location: Nairobi
Ngalaka wrote:
tycho wrote:
Ngalaka wrote:
masukuma wrote:
I personally at this stage am very grateful that I did kiswahili! I love it! I didn't do well in school at it but I love it! it's such a dear language to me that when I travel and meet others and we start chatting in exclussive swa... it makes me high! exclusive swa! using words kama mjini, nyumbani... dropping misemo here and there... just lovely! I was on an interview juzi where I used words like "MFUMO MBADALA! sheria na Kanuni, michakato na taratibu..." I loved it!!

Most of us, and I guess that includes you, are also very proficient in our vernacular languages even though we didn't take them in school.
Heck our politicians are at their best when they switch to vernacular - the figures of speech, the connection....

Even watu wa mambasani who never went to school speak more appealing swahili to yours - while you probably got an "A" in the language.

The point is a language is not necessarily embraced because it is taught in school, - at what expense.


True. A language isn't necessarily embraced because it's taught in school. So why is a language taught in school?


For its practical benefits to a nation - international commerce.
Swahili is out of its depth on this.


International commerce isn't the only benefit that we should aim for as a people. Before commerce there's identity.

Your preferred disciplines are out of depth on the issue of identity.
Rahatupu
#16 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:38:22 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 12/4/2009
Posts: 1,981
Location: matano manne
Ngalaka wrote:
Rahatupu wrote:
@Tycho thanks. @Ngalaka have you ever been abroad in non English speaking country? You try communicate in English and they ask you to speak your own language? Been in such scenario in Germany, Italy and Russia. Where is your pride?

Secondly, pride boss.....in our "Africaness" if not anything else. Why not make it the language of instruction for all subjects?

Now I know what Ngugi meant by urging in Decolonizing the Mind by reloading at our African languages. Kiswahili (not Swahili) is at the par with the so called international languages.

We have our "own" languages bwana - 42 of them. We speak them better than any other language we learnt is school - be it English or Swahili.

Tanzania has taken the route you suggest for us. where has it left them and their education system.
The number of Kenyan expatriates there tells it all.


@Ngalaka unless you have some beef with Kiswahili versus our 42.... Tanzania has a better more stable economy than ours. They are more politically stable than any country in the region. All courtesy to Kiswahili. All else is slowly falling in place and like Ethiopia well be left nyuma sana. BTW Ahmaric is spoken all over Ethiopia and it's not foreign.....schooling is in Ahmaric there
Rahatupu
#17 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:40:01 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 12/4/2009
Posts: 1,981
Location: matano manne
While at it why call your language vanacular? It's derogatory!
Obi 1 Kanobi
#18 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 1:54:45 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/23/2008
Posts: 3,017
I bet people in hindsight could come up with subjects they think were a waste of time and should be done away with.

But remember education is for Children and not for grown ups, allow the children to explore every subject and later judge their usefulness for themselves.

Ironically, if you were to apply just sheer numbers, more Kenyans in life could argue that Kiswahili is of more use than English for their day to day lives, careers and livelihoods. I am talking about people in the informal sector, businessmen, farmers, traders, matatu sector folks, mama mboga's.

Thats the Kenyan population and not someone who wants to carry out "international commerce". Besides, we are net importers, let the international traders looking to sell us stuff learn to communicate with us, the Chinese don't speak English but seem to have done this very well selling us everything from toilet paper to SGR
"The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline." James Collins
Ngalaka
#19 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 2:09:15 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 10/29/2008
Posts: 1,566
Does anyone here believe that Kiswahili would die off from our streets, markets, bars and other public fora, if universally we taught it only up to class three!

And for heavens sake nobody has called for banishing of Kiswahili from our public square.

This is a call to unburden our kids in school with a subject that isn’t taking them nor the country anywhere – noting that whatever benefits we draw from Swahili language would not be any lesser if we didn’t teach it in school up to KCSE.
Isuni yilu yi maa me muyo - ni Mbisuu
Obi 1 Kanobi
#20 Posted : Monday, March 06, 2017 2:15:48 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/23/2008
Posts: 3,017
Ngalaka wrote:
Does anyone here believe that Kiswahili would die off from our streets, markets, bars and other public fora, if universally we taught it only up to class three!

And for heavens sake nobody has called for banishing of Kiswahili from our public square.

This is a call to unburden our kids in school with a subject that isn’t taking them nor the country anywhere – noting that whatever benefits we draw from Swahili language would not be any lesser if we didn’t teach it in school up to KCSE.


While at it, lets also unburden them by teaching maths to class 3 or 6 or upto where calculus checks in. How in the world does calculus help anyone other than it making maths difficult and ridiculous. (many people could argue for this, yet I am sure there's a good reason why its taught)
"The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline." James Collins
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