Indigenous languages are quickly becoming extinct especially in metropolitan areas, this is why a school in Kasarani, Nairobi County has opted to adopt having lessons dedicated to teaching these languages to help children identify with their culture.
The move is aimed at taking advantage of the time that the children are no longer in school since the school calendar for the year 2020 was canceled.
Offering lessons in Ekegusii, Dholuo, Gikuyu, Kamba and more, the online program is not only aimed at teaching kids their native language but also targets entire families.
Late last year, Nominated MCA Silvia Museiya had suggested that the executive through the Education department develop a policy to have every ECDE centre have lessons on language and culture.
“Our children need to be able to embrace and identify with their African culture which will also reduce the western influence on them. If we continue losing our culture, then we will even lose our social norms and values,” she had said.
“Young learners between 3 to 7 years grasp easily and if they are taught their mother tongue during this period it will go a long way. This will even help to erode sheng’ language which is being used a lot by our young children,” she added.
In her argument, the nominated MCA stated that the lessons would not be put in place to replace English or Swahili. She said if Kenyan children can learn foreign languages like French, Spanish, and even Arabic in school, the same can be extended to have them learn their cultural languages.
If the policy was adopted it would help children identify with their background as well as embrace their culture.
“We need a revival of African indigenous languages as there is a concern about the loss of these languages. Children at this age can pick as many languages as possible as they are at the peak of learning” she had stated.