Speaks English = Responsible Citizen?

Not only those who speak English are responsible citizens… many who speak English are not responsible citizens.

Government of Uganda Minister Bright Kanyontore Rwamirama in his speech echoes the testimony of one of the ‘beneficiaries’ from interventions by Send a Cow. This was yesterday, Friday, 8th July 2016 at Hotel Africa during the official launch of the Send a Cow 2015-2020 Strategy.

How is it that this gifted young man – the beneficiary – who was obviously intelligent – he eloquently spoke in Luganda sharing a fabulous testimony of how he and his siblings had moved from rags to riches through hard work – found it necessary to benchmark his success on his inability to speak English?

He felt that because he had not gone through Uganda’s formal education system, which is modeled on the colonial global-western education system, and was not able to read and write in English, his achievements should be the more celebrated?

And why did the Minister choose to reinforce that particular part of the ‘beneficiary’s’ statement? One surmises that this tells a lot about what Ugandans have sadly internalised as education and being educated.

It seems that in his testimony and in the Ministers reinforcement there is a belief that one who speaks English – therefore gone through Uganda’s formal colonial global-western education – should be better than one who does not speak English.How warped is that?

Yes, it is definitely time to re-think what we in Uganda call education.

2 responses to “Speaks English = Responsible Citizen?”

  1. To me English is just a language which a person can choose to learn or not so I think what matters is a person’s ability to deliver service like, me several times I have used bodaboda men who could not speak good English but I was able to reach my destination.


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