A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Tanzania’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, and South Sudan’s Minister of Education, Deng Deng Hoc Yai, in Dodoma City, Tanzania. The five-year deal will see Tanzania sending Kiswahili teachers to Africa’s newest nation.
South Sudan joined the East African Community (EAC) in April 2016. The EAC has Kiswahili as its official language and member states have adopted Kiswahili as one of the official language of their countries. Kiswahili is spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. South Sudan’s Minister of Education said, “Since South Sudan is part of East Africa, there is a need to teach Kiswahili in the country for easy communication with other member states.”
Read: South African schools to teach Kiswahili as a second language
South Sudan is not the only country that has shown an interest in adopting Kiswahili as part of its curriculum. In September 2018, South Africa incorporated Kiswahili as its first optional foreign African language in its school curriculum. Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an opposition political party, also stated in August 2018 that there was a need for Kiswahili to be adopted as Africa’s common language. According to the Daily News newspaper, Tanzania was ready to send teachers to teach Kiswahili.
Tanzanian teachers will fly to Juba to teach Kiswahili in the proposed deal. Professor Ndalichako said, “We are more than ready to help our East African neighbours in their quest to master the language. As we speak, we are expecting our teachers to go to South Sudan.” The minister added that Kiswahili textbooks from Tanzania will also be sent to South Sudan. At present, Tanzania is waiting for further communication from Juba on when to start sending the teachers.