English to be a compulsory subject in Tanzanian schools; what this means to Teachers in Kenya.
The presidential declaration has been received warmly by Tanzanian researchers, educators and learners who have since considered themselves disadvantaged in the global village due to limited use of foreign languages like English in Tanzania. Language, being a medium of communication in any channel should be globally receptive as it is utilised within the country in this generation. Tanzania is on record to dismantle the vestiges of colonialism by building her social and educational fabric in what is African, from language to all other spheres of human life. Kiswahili was promoted widely and extensively and recognised as both an official and national language. With the support of other East African countries like Kenya, Kiswahili is the Lingua franca of this region. This made it the main language of instruction in schools, especially primary and secondary. Social-linguists recognize Tanzania as the main speaker of Kiswahili language in the world.
The 21st century has seen development in globalization and technology that each country strives to catch up with through change in language policies, legislation and peoples’ way of life to make it fit international standard and adaptive to the current trends in the labour market, education and collaborations. Education has and is always at the center of these changes since it carries the current and coming generations in a special way by empowering them to be proactive in other sectors. Use of English language in education will make researchers and learners exchange and share knowledge in a boundless manner that can make Tanzania realize her full potential in the regional and international level in terms of business, relations and governance.
Kenya, one of the close allies of Tanzania is bound to benefit from these developments on a unique way. The teaching fraternity that is trained largely in English, to teach all other subjects besides Kiswahili had found it difficult to sell their skills in Tanzania due to use of Kiswahili in teaching and learning more than any other foreign language since 1961 when Tanzania got her independence. In the spirit of the East African community, Kenyan teachers trained in science, humanities and technical subject can now capitalize on this opportunity to relieve themselves of the choking pressure of unemployment since the country has over 350,000 trained and unemployed teachers. The benefits of making English a compulsory subject will therefore be enjoyed by Tanzanians and their neighbours.