Ministry of education to prevent linguistic interference in basic school

This September 11th, the spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training has said the basic school young learners may experience linguistic interference as they learn four languages at the same time.

Edouard Juma: “Only Kirundi and French will be taught in the first and second years of the basic school”

“Teaching four languages at the same time in the first years of basic school may hinder the children’s knowledge development as they may end up mastering none of the languages,” says Edouard Juma, Spokesman for the Ministry of Education.

He says the ministry has initiated reforms which will be implemented during the 2019-2020 school year.

“Only Kirundi and French will be taught in the first and second years of the basic school,” says Mr. Juma adding that they will serve as the basis for learning other foreign languages.

He says students will start learning English in the third year of the primary school. “Kiswahili will be taught from the fifth year of the basic school,” he also says.

For him, children may be confused when learning many languages at the same time, the reason why they will be taught them progressively to avoid linguistic interference.

The language teaching reforms to be implemented by the Ministry of Education were adopted by the cabinet meeting held on December 12, 2018.

The decree issued by Burundi President on May 22, 2019 states that language teaching in Burundi must be done progressively and that this would start with the 2019-2020 school year in the first class of the basic school.