KAMPALA: Ugandan schools that teach French as a subject at primary, secondary and higher institutions of learning will showcase their proficiencies in the linguistic competition slated for November 2022.
The nationwide, and first-ever Njogera Française competition, a Luganda phrase that means (I speak French) is being organized by the Association of Teachers of French in Uganda, and Alliance Française of Kampala, a non-profit organization that fosters cultural and linguistic relations between France and Uganda.
Magaly Losange, a Course Coordinator of the Alliance, says that the event with backing from the French Embassy will involve concerts, public debate, cinema, sports challenge, dictation, singing contest, and other educational activities.
Losange disclosed that 12 students who will emerge as finalists in the competition will be rewarded tablet phones each, while best six schools will be equipped with state of the art computer lab to facilitate the teaching of French.
Two best university students in the competition will each win cash prices of Euros 1,000 (about 3.9 million Shillings), meanwhile two teachers of two best overall performing schools will be invited to Cavilam Vichy in France for Information and Communications Technology – ICT training.
Agatha Tumwine, the President of the Association of Teachers of French in Uganda, an umbrella body with over 300 members, says that the event began May 28th with Masaka region throughout June and will end on July 2022 to sensitize schools and encourage learners to prepare for the competition.
Tumwine disclosed that other schools in regions of Bushenyi, Kisoro, Mbarara, West Nile, Acholi, Lango, Busoga, Elgon, Karamoja, Mpigi, and Mukono among others are also participating in the sensitization exercise ahead of the coveted competition.
Speaking to URN in interview, Aziwa Zuena Muzani, 15, a Senior two student of Nabisunsa Girls’ School says she has already completed the first basic knowledge stage in French language, referred to as DELF A1. She is optimistic competition will propel her dreams of pursuing French as an international language further.
Jovana Alimorwot, 17, a Senior Four candidate at Bishop Cipriano Kihangire S.S says she has enjoyed learning French with passion since 2018 and anticipates the competition will take her to French speaking countries around the globe in the future.
It’s not clear how many schools are offering French language as a subject and the number of learners pursuing it at the moment with the changes in the curriculum by the Government in secondary schools across the country.
In March this year, the Council of Ministers of the East African Community state members in their 41st meeting in Arusha, Tanzania evoked Article 137 of the Treaty and agreed to consider French as a third official language to be used within the bloc after English and Kiswahili.
French is an official language in 29 countries of the world. It is also used as the main language of the United Nations, the European Union, and other dozen international organizations. Globally, it is the most spoken language with over 260 million speakers after English, Chinese, and Hindi among others.