Why local languages are crucial in learning

A signboard pinned on a tree at Sangach Primary School in Marakwet East discouraging pupils from speaking mother tongue. Many school going children continue to be taught in languages they neither use nor understand. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The materials from Gikuyu, Kikamba, Dholuo and Ekegusii come in handy in the development of language activities.
  • Cultural heritage and knowledge is passed on throughout each generation by language.
  • The fact that only materials from four communities have been approved for use dampens the hopes of the children from the other 38 tribes.

Many native languages across the world are dying at an alarming rate. As a result, all possible efforts must be made to sustain them. According to a United Nations General Assembly paper (fifth session of 2003), "Language is an essential part of, and intrinsically linked to, indigenous peoples’ ways of life, culture and identities.

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