President Paul Kagame yesterday asked his Tanzanian counterpart President Samia Suluhu Hassan who is in Rwanda on a two-day state visit to offer Kiswahili teachers that will help in further teaching of the language in schools.
In February 2017, Rwanda parliament passed the organic law establishing Kiswahili as an official language.
Kiswahili joined Kinyarwanda, English, and French as an official language.
“Rwanda and Tanzania share many things including culture, language, and trade. Our people try to speak Swahili. I think it is a good development. The government decided to start teaching Swahili in schools, so I am requesting your contribution to offer Kiswahili teachers,” Kagame said.
The Head of State further noted that Rwanda stands ready to work closely with Tanzania, in the context of East African Community and beyond.
According to the East African Community (EAC) Website, Swahili is universally used in the region, and members are requested to make Swahili one of their official languages.
“Besides other communication advantages and knowing the language by the coming generation of Rwandans, Swahili is as an official language in the community, it’s a way to increase the benefits that Rwandans can reap from economic integration,” Fred Kagina, a headteacher of Kambyeyi primary school located in the Southern province said.
He, however, pointed out that schools do not have teachers and enough textbooks to enable the teaching of the language.
According to Rwanda Education Board (REB), the Swahili language is taught at the ordinary level(O level), tourism and hospitality institutions, and students pursuing languages in some schools.
Kiswahili is used in EAC with over 120 million people, and by teaching the language in Rwanda and other parts of the region, the bloc expects to lift communication boundaries.
Kiswahili is the official language for Kenya and Tanzania, narrowly spoken in Uganda, and a national language for the Democratic Republic of Congo.