By Richard Akandwanaho
The Ambassador of France to Uganda HE Jules Armand Aniambossou has said that the French embassy’s top priority now is to support the learning and teaching of the French language in Uganda.
HE Aniambossou was speaking today at Kabale University grounds during his visit to the University to assess the needs of the institution and the region at large in terms of quality French language teaching and learning.
HE Aniambossou pledged the embassy’s support to train more teachers of French in all the regions of Uganda, offer scholarships to students and introduce inter University exchange programs with the objective of promoting French as a professional language of communication.
The Ambassador further observed that Uganda is surrounded by Francophone Countries giving the example of Kigezi region which borders Rwanda and DRC which are all French speaking Countries.
He encouraged Ugandans to learn French to take full advantage of associated opportunities like jobs and education opportunities, intervention in peace missions and culture diversity among other opportunities.
HE Aniambossou noted that in Uganda today, there are over 6500 learners of the French language, with 890 learners in Primary, 4460 at Secondary, and 1156 at Universities. He however said that the over 6500 learners are only taught by 405 teachers saying a lot needs to be done to improve the learning situation.
The Kabale University Director Institute of Language Studies Prof Emmanuel Mulanga noted that lack of enough learning materials like Text books and few qualified language lecturers at the University has hindered the teaching of a number of languages especially French.
The Kabale University ICT Director James Murangira said that abject poverty among many parents in Uganda has also threatened the adoption of modern learning methods and teaching of languages at the University. He said that many ICT learners at the University are unable to buy learning equipment like computers to help them especially in E-learning which has hindered their academics.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Karim Cwinya’ay, the acting Course Coordinator Alliance Francaise de Kampala, a team from the Embassy of France, Bonjour Kampala web radio and the Association of Teachers of French in Uganda (APFO) among other guests.