Nyeri Governor upholds petition to embrace indigenous languages in schools
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has endorsed the call to re-introduce indigenous languages in the school curriculum as petitioned by renowned author Prof. Ngugi in championing the need to honour cultural and religious heritage.
Speaking during the launch of ‘Wirute Gikuyu Kiega’ at Dedan Kimathi University where he was the Chief Guest, Governor Kahiga commended the move by Ministry of Education to reintroduce the teaching of local languages in lower primary. This recognizes the right of Kenyans under Article 44 and its obligation under Article 7.
“Prof. Ngugi has taught us to be proud of ourselves as a people, and our heritage as Africans. Language is intrinsic to the expression of culture. As a means of communicating values, beliefs and customs, it has an important social function and fosters feelings of group identity and solidarity. It is the means by which culture and its traditions and shared values may be conveyed and preserved,”
said Governor Kahiga.
Prof. Ngugi reiterated the appeal on government’s commitment in providing resources to fund the development of language books in all vernacular languages. He said the changing of the new curriculum, which is currently ongoing, presents the perfect opportunity for the Ministry of Education to include books in local language as part of the curriculum.
“If you can speak all the languages of the world but can’t speak your mother tongue, it is slavery of the mind. If you can speak your mother tongue and go on to learn other languages of the world, that is empowerment,”
Prof. Ngugi, the author of The River Between, Weep not Child, Wizard of the Crow and I will marry when I Want’ among many others, affirmed.
Dedan Kimathi University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration and Finance) Prof. Esther Magiri applauded Prof. Ngugi’s tour of various learning institutions with the same message – embrace Africa’s cultural heritage through teaching all indigenous languages to the generations.
“Prof. Ngugi’s tour comes at a good time when Dedan Kimathi University, which focuses more on Technology, is in the process of introducing an Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences aimed at targeting all ethnic groups, including foreigners to join us in learning local languages and African culture, “
said Prof. Magiri.
‘Wirute Gikuyu Kiega’ is part of the series of books by East Africa Educational Publishers (EAEP). Although the books are approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) for grades 1, 2 and 3, they aren’t mandatory for students. The other books in the series are in Dholuo, Giriama, Kisii and Kamba languages.
Established in 1965 as Heinemann and Cassell, East Africa Educational Publishers (EAEP) has grown by leaps and bounds to be the leading school and general publisher in the region; with books covering areas of education, culture, development, aesthetics, literature, drama and poetry. Our collection of literature books in English, Kiswahili and indigenous languages continue to inspire generations of readers year after year.
East Africa Education Publishers Director Abel Muriithi promised that the company will partner with Dedan Kimathi University to equip the library.
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