Namibia: Official Opposition Says Introducing Kiswahili in Namibian Schools Is 'Unpatriotic'

(File photo).

The national spokesperson of the Popular Democratic Movement's youth wing, Maximalliant Katjimune, said it is "hypocritical and unpatriotic" for Namibia to introduce other African languages in schools while Namibians have not even mastered their own indigenous languages.

This comes after the education ministry earlier this year announced it will will introduce kiSwahili as an optional language in the Namibian school curriculum in 2021, on directive of Cabinet.

"The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League totally rejects the introduction of the kiSwahili language in our Basic education system. We would like to make it clear that our rejection of the kiSwahili language should not be viewed as no-African, but we are simply of the view that there are simply more important pressing matters at the moment that confronts our Basic education system," Katjimune said at a press briefing this week.

Katjimune stressed that most Namibians can only speak their own indigenous language, English and Afrikaans, adding that it must be the aim of government to ensure that Namibians are patriotic and learn a different mix of Namibian languages rather than "introducing a language from a far-away which has no significance and relevance to the ordinary Namibian."

"We therefore urge the Swapo government to stop their pursuit of kiSwahili and rather focus on integrating learners to speak different Namibian languages," he added.

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