Tanzania: Parents Urged to Persuade Children to Be Multilingual

Prents have been encouraged to persuade their children to learn foreign languages, as it will create a multilingual generation that will easily utilise various opportunities and expose them to the world without having a language barrier.

Talking to 'Daily News', University of Dar es Salaam Institute of Development Studies (IDS) senior lecturer, Prof Colman Msoka, said the world had become a village, so learning foreign languages would put the nation in a better competition position.

"There is a need to have professionals who are also multilingual. The authorities need strategic plans of grooming experts who can also communicate in other languages apart from English," he said yesterday at an event called 'Choose France' to celebrate France Alumni network in Tanzania.

He said a language like French was crucial as in Africa alone the language was spoken in at least 29 countries out of 54.

"Knowing this language will enable Tanzanians to access various opportunities." However, he warned that in the process of learning foreign languages there should be emphasis on making sure Kiswahili was still respected and not forgotten or ignored.

French Ambassador to Tanzania Fredric Clavier noted that French was an official language of about 200 million people and was among the languages spoken on five continents.

"Speaking French provides access to at least 47 countries in the world," he said.

He explained the French Tanzanian Alumni network was getting bigger each year, as more Tanzanian students were interested in pursuing their studies in France and choose the country of wine, good cuisine and fashion to follow their dreams.

"This year, the Embassy granted scholarships to 30 students to study agriculture, environmental sciences focused on climate change, engineering, aeronautics and French as a foreign language."

The goal set by French President Emmanuel Macron is to attract 500,000 students per year from across the world. To reach this goal, more than 200 programmes are entirely taught in English.

Scholarships offered by the government, private enterprises, excellency programmes such as Eiffel or Erasmus Mundus, are being offered to students.

Director of Alliance Française in Dar es Salaam Frederic Dart said the Embassy and Tanzanian universities had prepared for the first time a French-Tanzanian Higher Education Fair, taking place on December 14 at Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre.

"The event will gather 10 French and Tanzanian Universities. This will create an opportunity for students to meet the ideal university, find professional opportunities and scholarships to study in France."

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