Language policy implementation and the quality of instruction in lower primary classes in Uganda: a case of Kayunga sub county: Kayunga district
Namago, Sarah Harriet
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Understanding the concept and understanding the language in which the concepts are delivered arc usually critical areas of concern in delivery of quality instructions. Quality learning can only be guaranteed if the learners are taught in the language they understand. Children who are taught in a language they do not understand may not grasp the concepts not because the concepts are difficult to understand, but rather because they do not understand the medium of the instruction. In Uganda, while, the 1992 Government White Paper on Education and the language policy specifies the use of area language as a medium of instruction up to primary three to be the local area language, teachers continue to instruct the children in English that is hardly understood by learners. This study attempted to establish how Language policy was being implemented to improve quality of instruction in lower primary classes. The objectives included assessing the teachers' attitude toward language policy implementation; the extent to which teachers were implementing language policy in lower primary classes and the strategic measures that could be employed to improve the implementation of language policy for quality instruction. Area of study was limited to 28 schools out of the 30 primary schools in Kayunga sub-county, among lower primary teachers, head teachers, Coordinating Centre Tutor, District Education Officer and pupils. Data was analysed using descriptive analysis and transcribed using qualitative content analysis. The study established that teachers had negative attitude towards language policy implementation which influences the quality of instruction in lower primary classes at 86.35% while 13.65% had positive attitude. The use of local language during instruction was found to be minimal at 14.78%, while 85.22% used English in all lessons, the findings of the study would help to make informed decisions on why teachers continue to pay less attention in using local language during instruction. Sensitisation of teachers was recommended as a tool for embracing implementation of the language policy to improve the quality of instruction.