The Ugandan government is set to introduce the Chinese language as a mandatory subject in all schools countrywide beginning January 2019.
Minister in the Office of the President Esther Mbayo says the government has prepared teaching materials for the subject and has selected 35 schools for the initial rollout of the program.
“We have received materials such as textbooks and illustrations. We have also received some tutors from the Chinese government,” Ms. Mbayo says.
Uganda’s government says the decision to introduce Chinese classes is informed by the growing relationship between China and the East African nation.
The East African reports that 11 of the schools selected for initial rollout are in country’s capital, Kampala, 8 in in the Western region while, Eastern, Northern, and the West Nile region will have 7, 5 and 4 respectively.
Director of Uganda National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) Grace Baguma says the subject will be compulsory to senior one and senior two students.
“We hope the schools will comply. We hope to increase the number of schools with time,” Ms. Baguma says.
Baguma further says the language will be introduced as an undergraduate degree program dubbed Chinese language and culture at Makerere University.