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Muddling through: a critical review of Ugandan language policy in education


Muzoora, M and Terry, D, Muddling through: a critical review of Ugandan language policy in education, Internet Journal of Language, Culture and Society, (38) pp. 103-110. ISSN 1327-774X (2013) [Refereed Article]

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This article discusses the contradictions and paradoxes embedded in the implementation of the contemporary language policy in education in Uganda. The paper argues that language choice in education has depended largely on political interplay, balance of power and finances and less on pedagogical considerations influenced by underpinning forces that are antithetical to such down-up policies. The paper highlights that there is need to revisit the policy to achieve the intended goals by recognising the role of democracy, equity and equality aspects of language in education to break through the distribution of power relations to foster linguistic justice, emancipatory pedagogies, linguistic and cultural diversity and sustainability. Consideration of historical, social contextual and pedagogical issues based on scientific data are paramount rather than holding on to colonial policies, less relevant in today’s contemporary Uganda. The article concludes that success of ‘mother tongue’ medium in school is preconditioned by the collapse of the status quo through democratisation and empowerment of local communities. They are to take ownership and target local needs rather than continued with current wasteful measures propagated by subtractive bilingual imperatives, which are counterproductive yet still compelled by neo-colonial and colonial leaders. A number of bilingual and total-endoglossic models are highlighted which may be further examined through contextual research. This may foster a more effective implementation of language use in education that could lead to the realisation of increased literacy levels, national unity, language and cultural sustainability as well as overall development of Uganda.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Cultural diversity, education policy, hegemony, linguistic sustainability, Uganda
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Policies and development
UTAS Author:Muzoora, M (Mr Muzoora)
UTAS Author:Terry, D (Mr Daniel Terry)
ID Code:86547
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2013-09-24
Last Modified:2014-11-25
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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