By Ali Mambule
Luganda will not be scrapped from the education syllabus, Vice-President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has said.
His remark come amidst unconfirmed reports about plans to stop the teaching of the subject in schools.
The uncertainty has caused discomfort mainly at Mengo, the seat of Buganda Kingdom, with officials denouncing the move, saying it would affect the cultural values of Baganda.
While presiding over the opening of St. Jude SS Masaka in Kyabakuza on Sunday, Ssekandi stressed that research had proved that pupils and students understand their teachers better in class in their local languages.
“I will discuss this with the President and I want to assure you that the local languages being taught in schools will not be scrapped. Even in Parliament, I would not support any motion with such a proposal,” he said.
Ssekandi was responding to Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu’s concern that scrapping off the Luganda language as a subject on the syllabus would be doing a disservice to Buganda and the nation at large.
“It is not only the Baganda students who study this subject. It is very disappointing to hear that there are plans to stop it. A number of us in Parliament are ready to fight for it,” Sewungu said.
Ssekandi commended the director of the school, Mary Babirye Kabanda, for the development which, he said, would lead to an improvement in the academic performance not only in Masaka, but even the neighbouring districts.
He thanked the headmaster and teachers for various innovations, especially the activities like agriculture and other technical skills, which are taught to students.
“When music dance and drama course was introduced to Makerere University, many people undermined it and laughed at those who studied it referring to them as having weak brains. Today, the products of that course are admired by not only Ugandans, but even those abroad,” Ssekandi added.
He urged students to respect technical courses, saying they produce skilled graduates who don’t have to knock at offices looking for jobs.
“We still have a big challenge with jobs in the country, especially now, when there are very many graduates. The problem is exposed more when someone advertises for 10 jobs and gets over 5,000 applications – all from competent people,” Ssekandi said.