Rwanda which is seeking to make Kiswahili compulsory in schools has requested neighboring Tanzania to offer Kiswahili teachers that will help in further teaching of the language, an official source disclosed to APA Wednesday in Kigali.
Currently, the ministry of Education is still setting up all requirements for introducing Kiswahili language as a principal subject in schools.
The move comes after the Rwandan Parliament passed, in February 2017, the organic law establishing Kiswahili as the fourth official language alongside Kinyarwanda, English and French in Rwanda.
During a just concluded visit by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Kigali, his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame said Rwanda stands ready to work closely with Tanzania, in the context of East African Community and beyond.
"“Rwanda and Tanzania share many things including culture, language, and trade. Our people try to speak Swahili. I think it is a good development," Kagame said.
According to him, the government decided to start teaching Swahili in schools.
Prior to the law, Kiswahili was included among the subjects taught in Ordinary and Advanced levels as an optional subject and it is expected to be a compulsory subject and examined at the national level.
In addition, the language will now be used for administrative purposes including in some official documents.
Article 119 of the East African Community Treaty calls for the promotion of indigenous languages, especially Kiswahili, as the main language to be used while dealing with regional issues.
The language is used for social interaction and trade in many urban centres in the member states. It is spoken by nearly 50 and 70 per cent of the general public in Rwanda and Burundi respectively, according to official estimates.