Teaching in local languages: A firm stride towards churning out peasants

Author, Gawaya Tegulle. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • You cannot bring such a backward policy to schools where children of the rich and the rulers go – they will jail or even kill you on sight!

As everyone else in the world moves quickly forward in the new world order of “The Global Village” – the Ugandan government is aggressively ensuring that its education system breeds peasants and lumpen proletariat. That is the chief object – or effect – of the rather curious and ill-fated policy to teach our children in local languages. Corrigendum: ill-fated children! 

In the next few years, passports will not matter very much; because with the current technological advancements and rising levels of thinking, what will matter is not what country you come from. What will count will be whether you are “a citizen of the world”. That will mean you are able to easily fit into any part of the world, like a fish thrown into any waters anywhere. That will mean you are able to survive, then thrive and even dominate, regardless of where you find yourself. 

Those who know strategic languages will always have strategic advantage over the majority. That is why most Blacks in the United Nations system are West Africans – they speak both French and English! A strategic language greatly empowers you! Global languages will empower you to rule the world; you’ll go places – even the sky will find trouble trying to limit you. Village languages will keep you in your village! 

The schools teaching in local languages have one thing in common: the parents are largely peasant class – we are talking about the rural poor. Some of them are happy that the kids don’t have to exert themselves to learn English and be taught in English. Life just got easier, hallelujah! 

So parents and kids alike “relax”…unaware that they are actually relapsing into a comfort zone calculated to cripple them. The butterfly that is helped out of its cocoon will never fly! Why? Because as its life was being “made easier” by a ‘benevolent’ hand that helped it to wriggle out of its cocoon, its future was actually being destroyed! How? Because it is the difficulty in getting out of the cocoon that, quite ironically, helps the butterfly build and develop strength and impetus to fly! 

You cannot bring such a backward policy to schools where children of the rich and the rulers go – they will jail or even kill you on sight!

The schools where the children of the rich and the rulers go, are usually on a curriculum of international acclaim. They study French, German, Spanish and Chinese, etc. The kids are being positioned to take up significant places in the government and the international community as citizens of the world. They will be the international diplomats and frontrunners for juicy jobs in the United Nations, African Union, even European Union or international governmental and non-governmental organisations. They will be looked for by Samsung, Coca Cola, Oxfam, etc. When they go to places like Canada, they will be invited to apply for citizenship, because they are possessed of all the right skill sets.

Kids of the rural poor on “local languages curriculum” will be on demand: as drivers, shamba boys and housemaids of the rich.

So why would government come up with such a foolish, barbaric, parochial, retrogressive and generally outdated policy? 

First, it ensures and guarantees that the rural poor, where NRM gets all its votes, stay exactly where it wants them: in poverty, in peasantry and in perpetual economic indisposition. Much safer that way, politically; as an empowered population is hard to manipulate, deceive and rule. The policy is, therefore, highly strategic and politically rewarding.

Second, it ensures that the compradors and bourgeoisie who rule the book industry and make billions from such policies, because they are closely connected with the powers that be, are once again able to smile to the bank.

Be wary of the cook who prepares food that she herself dare not eat! Beware of the cook who cannot allow her own children and grandchildren to partake of the food she so meticulously prepares, but eagerly serves it to outsiders!  

When God decided to disempower man, he threw several languages among men, and the Tower of Babel project fell by the wayside. And Ugandans think NRM is empowering them by, all of a sudden, requiring kids to learn in languages other than those that give them strategic advantage anywhere on earth! Jamani, tusiwe wajinga!

Mr Tegulle is an advocate of the High Court of Uganda