Mother tongue education and transition to English medium education in Uganda : teachers perspectives and practices versus language policy and curriculum

Ssentanda, Medadi Erisa (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this dissertation I report on an ethnographic survey study undertaken on bi-/multilingual education in ten primary schools in Uganda. The primary aim of this study was to explore how teachers understand and manage the process of transitioning from mother tongue (MT) education to English as a language of learning and teaching (LoLT). In this study I used a multi-method approach involving questionnaires, classroom observations, follow-up interviews and note taking. Data was analysed using a theme-based triangulation approach, one in which insights gleaned from different sources are checked against each other, so as to build a fuller, richer and more accurate account of the phenomenon under study. This data was gathered firstly from teachers and classes in the first three years of formal schooling (P1 to P3) in order to understand the nature of multilingualism in the initial years of primary schooling and how teachers use MT instruction in preparation for transition to English-medium education that occurs at the end of these three years. Secondly, data from P4 and P5 classes and teachers was gathered so as to examine the manner in which teachers handle transition from MT instruction in P4 and then shift into the use of English as LoLT in P5. The study has identified discrepancies between de jure and de facto language policy that exist at different levels: within schools, between government and private schools in implementing the language-in-education policy, and, ultimately, between the assumptions teachers have of the linguistic diversity of learners and the actual linguistic repertoires possessed by the learners upon school entry. Moreover, the study has revealed that it is unrealistic to expect that transfer of skills from MT to English can take place after only three years of teaching English and MT as subjects and using MT as LoLT. Against such a backdrop, teachers operate under circumstances that are not supportive of effective policy implementation. In addition, there is a big gap between teacher training and the demands placed on teachers in the classroom in terms of language practices. Moreover, teachers have mixed feelings about MT education, and some are unreservedly negative about it. Teachers’ indifference to MT education is partly caused by the fact that MTs are not examined at the end of primary school and that all examination papers are set in English. Furthermore, it has emerged that Uganda’s pre-primary education system complicates the successful implementation of the language-in-education policy, as it is not monitored by the government, is not compulsory nor available to all Ugandan children, and universally is offered only in English. The findings of this study inform helpful recommendations pertaining to the language-ineducation policy and the education system of Uganda. Firstly, there is a need to compile countrywide community and/or school linguistic profiles so as to come up with a wellinformed and practical language policy. Secondly, current language-in-education policy ought to be decentralised as there are urban schools which are not multilingual (as is assumed by the government) and thus are able to implement MT education. Thirdly, the MT education programme of Uganda ought to be changed from an early-exit to a late-exit model in order to afford a longer time for developing proficiency in English before English becomes the LoLT. Fourthly, government ought to make pre-primary schooling compulsory, and MT should be the LoLT at this level so that all Ugandan children have an opportunity to learn through their MTs. Finally, if the use of MT, both as a subject and as a LoLT, is to be enforced in schools, the language of examination and/or the examination of MTs will have to be reconsidered. In summary, several reasons have been identified for the mentioned discrepancies between de jure and de facto language-in-education policy in Uganda. This policy was implemented in an attempt to improve the low literacy levels of Ugandan learners. It therefore appears as if the policy and its implementation will need revision before this achievable aim can be realised as there is great difficulty on the teachers’ side not only in the understanding but also in managing the process of transitioning from MT education to English as LoLT.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie proefskrif lewer ek verslag oor ‘n etnografiese opname van twee meertaligheid wat in 10 laerskole in Oeganda uitgevoer is. Die hoof doel van die studie was om vas te stel hoe onderwysers die oorgang van moedertaalonderrig na Engels as taal van onderrig en leer (TLO) verstaan en bestuur. Ek het ‘n veelvuldige metode-benadering in hierdie studie gevolg en gebruik gemaak van vraelyste, klaskamerwaarnemings, opvolgonderhoude en veldnotas. Data is geanaliseer deur gebruik te maak van ‘n tema-gebaseerde trianguleringsbenadering, een waarin insigte verkry uit verskillende bronne teen mekaar geverifieer is om sodoende ‘n voller, ryker en meer akkurate verklaring vir die studieverskynsel te gee. Hierdie data is eerstens onder onderwysers en leerders in die eerste drie jaar van formele skoolonderring (P1 tot P3) ingesamel om vas te stel (i) wat die aard van veeltaligheid in die beginjare van laerskool is en (ii) hoe onderwysers moedertaal (MT) gebruik om leerders voor te berei vir die oorgang na Engels-medium onderrig wat aan die einde van hierdie drie jaar geskied. Data is tweedens onder P4- en P5-onderwysers en in P4- en P5-klaskamers ingesamel om sodoede die wyse te ondersoek waarop onderwysers die oorgang van MT-onderrig in P4 en die skuif na die gebruik van Engels as TLO in P5 hanteer. Die studie het diskrepansies tussen de jure- en de facto-taalbeleid op verskeie vlakke geïdentifiseer: binne skole, tussen die regering en privaatskole in die implementering van die taal-in-onderwys-beleid, en ook tussen die aannames wat onderwysers oor die talige diversiteit van leerders het en die werklike talige repertoires waarmee hierdie leerders die skoolsisteem betree. Die studie het verder getoon dat dit onrealisties is om te verwag dat oordrag van vaardighede van MT na Engels kan plaasvind ná slegs drie jaar van (i) Engels en MT as vakke en (ii) gebruik van MT as TLO. Teen hierdie agtergrond werk onderwysers onder omstandighede wat nie effektiewe beleidsimplementering ondersteun nie. Daar is ook ‘n groot gaping tussen onderwyseropleiding en die eise wat aan onderwysers in die klaskamer gestel word in terme van taalpraktyke. Verder het onderwysers gemengde gevoelens oor MTonderrig, en sommiges is sonder voorbehoud negatief daaroor. Onderwysers se onverskilligheid teenoor MT-onderrig word gedeeltelik meegebring deur die feit dat MTe nie aan die einde van laerskool geëksamineer word nie en dat alle eksamenvraestelle in Engels opgestel word. Dit het ook geblyk dat Oeganda se voorskoolse onderwyssisteem die suksesvolle implementering van die taal-in-onderwys-beleid kompliseer, aangesien hierdie vlak van onderwysg nie deur die regering gemonitor word nie, nie verpligtend of toeganklik vir alle Oegandese kinders is nie en universeel in slegs Engels aangebied word. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie maak nuttige aanbevelings moontlik aangaande die taal-inonderwys- beleid en die onderwyssisteem in Oeganda. Eerstens is daar ‘n behoefte aan die opstel van ‘n landswye taalprofiel van gemeenskappe en skole sou ‘n goed-ingeligte en prakties uitvoerbare taalbeleid daargestel wou word. Tweedens behoort die huidige taal-inonderwys- beleid gesentraliseer te word, aangesien sommige stedelike skole (in teenstelling met wat deur die regering aangeneem word) nie veeltalig is nie en dus wel daartoe in staat is om MT-onderrig te implementeer. Derdens behoort die MT-onderrigprogram in Oeganda verander te word van een waarin leerders MT-onderrig vroeg verlaat tot een waarin hulle MT-onderrig laat verlaat, sodat daar meer tyd is vir die verwerwing van Engelse taalvaardighede voordat Engels die TLO word. Vierdens behoort die regering preprimêre onderwys verpligtend te maak en behoort MT die TLO op hierdie vlak te wees sodat alle Oegandese kinders die geleentheid het om deur middel van hul MTe te leer. Laastens, as die gebruik van MT (as ‘n vak sowel as as TLO) in skole verplig gaan word, behoort die taal van eksaminering herbesin te word en/of die eksaminering van MTe heroorweeg te word. Opsommenderwys: Daar is verskeie redes geïdentifiseer vir die genoemde diskrepansies tussen die de jure- en de facto- taal-in-onderwys beleid in Oeganda. Hierdie beleid is ingestel in ‘n poging om die lae geletterdheidsvlakke van Oegandese leerders aan te spreek. Dit blyk dat die beleid en die implementering daarvan hersien sal moet word voordat hierdie haalbare doelwit gerealiseer sal kan word, want onderwysers vind dit merkbaar moeilik nie net om die huidige beleid te verstaan nie maar ook om die proses van oorgang van MT-onderrig na Engels as TLO te bestuur.

Ekisengejje (Luganda) Mu kiwakano kino, njogera ku kunoonyereza okwesigamizibwa ku kwekaliriza ekibinja ky’abantu ab’awamu n’engeri gye bakwatamu ebyenjigiriza nnanniminnyingi mu masomero ga pulayimale kkumi mu Uganda. Ekigendererwa ky’okunoonyereza kuno ekikulu kyali okwekaliriza engeri abasomesa gye bategeeramu ne gye bakwatamu enseetuka y’okuva mu kusomera mu lulimi oluzaaliranwa okudda mu Lungereza. Mu kunoonyereza kuno, nakozesa enseetuka mpendannyingi omuli olukalala lw’ebibuuzo, okwekaliriza okw’omu kibiina, okubuuza ebibuuzo eby’akamwa n’okuwandiika ebyekalirizibwa. Ebiwe byakenenulirwa mu miramwa nga giggyibwa mu ebyo ebyakuηηaanyizibwa mu mpenda ez’enjawulo. Enkola eno yeeyambisa ebyakukuηηaanyizibwa mu mpenda ez’enjawulo nga buli kimu kikkuutiriza kinnaakyo ne kiba nti ekijjo ekinoonyeerezebwako omuntu akitebya mu ngeri enzijuvu era engagga obulungi. Okusooka, ebiwe byakuηηaanyizibwa okuva mu basomesa ne mu bibiina ebisookerwako ebisatu (P1 okutuuka ku P3) n’ekigendererwa ky’okutegeera ennimi eziri mu myaka egisooka egya pulayimale n’engeri abasomesa gye batandikamu okusomesereza mu nnimi enzaaliranwa nga bateekateeka abayizi okubazza mu kuyigira mu Lungereza. Okuyigira mu Lungereza kutandika okubaawo ng’emyaka esatu egisooka giweddeko. Ebibiina, P4 ne P5 nabyo byatunuulirwa n’ekigendererwa ky’okwekaliriza engeri abasomesa gye bakwatamu enseetuka y’okuggya abayizi mu kuyigira mu nnimi enzaaliranwa mu P4 okubazza mu kuyigira mu Lungereza mu P5. Okunoonyereza kuno kuzudde empungu wakati w’enteekera y’ebyennimi eragirwa n’ekozesebwa ku mitendera egy’enjawulo: Empungu esooka eri mu kussa mu nkola enteekera y’ebyennimi mu byenjigiriza wakati w’amasomero ga gavumenti n’ag’obwannannyini ate ne wakati w’ebyo abasomesa bye bakkiririzaamu ku nnimi abayizi ze boogera n’ennimi abayizi bo ze boogera nga tebannayingira masomero. Mu ngeri y’emu okunoonyereza kuno kukizudde nti si kya bwenkyanya okusuubira abayizi okuzza mu Lungereza ebyo bye bayigidde emyaka esatu mu nnini enzaaliranwa nga mu myaka gye gimu egyo Olungereza n’olulimi oluzaaliranwa babadde baziyiga ng’amasomo. Mu mbeera efaanana bw’etyo, abasomesa bakolera mu mbeera etabasobozesa kutuukiriza nteekera ya bya nnimi mu byenjigiriza. Mu ngeri y’emu, waliwo empungu nnene wakati w’obutendeke abasomesa bwe balina n’ebyo ebibasuubirwamu okukola mu kibiina nga beeyambisa olulimi. Si ekyo kyokka, abasomesa si batangaavu ku kusomeseza mu nnimi enzaaliranwa, era n’abamu boogera kaati nga bwe batawagira nkola eno. Endowooza y’abasomesa ku kusomeseza mu nnimi enzaaliranwa yeesigamiziddwa ku kuba nti ennimi enzaaliranwa tezibuuzibwa ku nkomerero ya pulayimale ate era n’okuba nti ebibuuzo byonna ku nkomerero ya pulayimale bibuuzibwa mu Lungereza. Ng’oggyeeko ekyo, kyeyolese mu kunoonyereza kuno nti okusoma kwa nnasale mu Uganda kukaluubiriza okussa mu nkola enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu byenjigiriza kubanga eddaala ly’okusoma lino terirondoolwa gavumenti, si lya buwaze ate era abaana bonna mu Uganda tebafuna mukisa kusoma nnasale, n’ekirala nti okutwaliza awamu ebisomesebwa ku ddaala lino biba mu Lungereza. Ebizuuliddwa mu kunoonyereza kuno bisonga ku bisembebwa ebiyinza okuyamba mu kutereeza enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu byenjigiriza ko n’omuyungiro gw’ebyenjigiriza gwonna mu Uganda. Okusooka, kyetaagisa okukuηηaanya ennimi ezoogerebwa mu bitundu ne/oba mu masomero ne kiyamba mu kussa mu nkola enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu ngeri entangaavu. Eky’okubiri, kisaana obuyinza bw’enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu byenjigiriza eriwo kati buzzibweko wansi kubanga waliwo amasomero g’omu bibuga agataliimu nnimi nnyingi (nga gavumenti yo bw’ekitwala) era nga bwe gatyo gasobola okussa mu nkola enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu byenjigiriza. Eky’okusatu, enteekateeka y’okusomeseza mu nnimi enzaaliranwa eya Uganda esaana eyongezebwe okuva ku myaka 3 etuuke ku myaka 6 okutuuka ku 8. Ebbanga eryo eggwanvu liyamba omuyizi okukaza Olungereza n’oluvannyuma asobole okuluyigiramu. Eky’okuna, gavumenti esaana efuule okusoma kwa nnasale okw’obuwaze era ennimi enzaaliranwa zisaana zibeere olulimi oluyigirwamu ku ddaala lino kibeere nti abaana bonna mu Uganda bafuna omukisa okuyigira mu nnimi zaabwe enzaaliranwa. N’ekisembayo, bwe kiba nti okukozesa ennimi enzaaliranwa mu masomero ng’olulimi oluyigirwamu ate era ng’essomo kinaagobererwa mu masomero, olulimi olubuulizibwamu ebibuuzo ne/oba okubuuzibwako ebibuuzo bisaana bifiibweko nate. Mu bufunze, ensonga nnyingiko ezinokoddwayo ng’ezireetawo empungu wakati w’enteekera y’eby’ennimi mu byenjigiriza n’ebyo ebikolebwa mu masomero mu Uganda. Enteekera eno yassibwa mu nkola n’ekigendererwa ky’okwongera ku mutindo gw’okuyiga okusoma n’okuwandiika mu bayizi b’omu Uganda. Wabula ate kifanana okuba nti enteekera eno n’engeri gy’essibwa mu nkola bijja kwetaaga okuddamu okufiibwako olwo ekigendererwa ekyabiteekerwa kiryoke kituukibweko. Kino kiri bwe kityo kubanga waliwo enkalubira ya maanyi mu basomesa mu kutegeera ne mu nkwajja y’okuteekateeka abayizi okubaseetula

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