Exploring a Forward Design Dimension in the design of school-based Kiswahili teaching syllabi for primary schools in Uganda

Keywords: Forward design dimension, school-based syllabus, Swahili, and Uganda.


In Uganda, delays in teaching and learning of Kiswahili in primary schools have been experienced since their establishment in the education systems in the 1920s. At present, the language-in-education policy requires the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) to prepare instructional materials for facilitating the teaching of Kiswahili as a compulsory subject from primary schools to secondary schools. However, the NCDC has been able to produce and launch the Kiswahili teaching syllabi for secondary schools only, delaying the introduction of the teaching syllabi for primary schools. This theoretical paper argues that the absence of a Kiswahili conventional syllabus in primary schools has led teachers to (i) abandon the teaching profession as Kiswahili language teachers, and (ii) attempt ‘designing’ individual-based (hereafter, school-based) syllabi. The paper intends to demonstrate how the quality of the existing school-based syllabi can be improved and also aims to demonstrate (to language teaching researchers, advisers and language teachers) in general, how teachers can design their respective school-based syllabi purposefully to strengthen the teaching and learning of Kiswahili in their respective schools and classrooms.

Author Biographies

Caesar Jjingo, Makarere University
Dr. Caesar Jjingo is an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Humanities and Language Education, Makerere University. His research interests include, language policy and planning frameworks, Kiswahili second language pedagogies and material development, particularly, in task-based approaches. 
Marianna Visser, Stellenbosch University
Marianna Visser is a Professor in the Department of African Languages, Stellenbosch University. Her research foci include, formal lexical semantics and morphosyntax, syntactic development in second language acquisition, complexity in task-based language learning and teaching, appraisal and evaluation in discourse analysis.