Abiria May Grace

Mother tongue is a very important tool for learning and it acts as identity for one to know which tribe one belongs to.

But many people in this country have not understood why the government of Uganda took a deliberate step to introduce mother tongue as medium of instruction in lower primary with some thinking that learning both the mother tongue and English, the children end up getting confused.

The senior education officer of Arua municipal council Obiayi Raymond Ombere says a research was done and it was established that children who start learning in the mother tongue grasp basic concepts easily making it easier for them to learn a second language hence making them better in numeracy and literacy skills.

He says that’s the reason the government of Uganda in 1997 took up the practice of using the mother tongue as a medium of instruction in nursery and lower primary.

Rt Hon Haruna Ndema, the prime minister of Lugbara Kari suggests that, for mother tongue to take root in our homes, the mothers should take the lead in teaching their children as the children usually spend most of their speaking English in school. He says this will make the children love and own these languages.

Because of the value attached to mother tongue, the UN has set aside 21 of every February to commemorate mother language worldwide.

This year’s theme says, it is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. END