Education International
Education International

Mali and Uganda: Drive to promote mother-tongue education

published 4 March 2013 updated 12 March 2013

Education stakeholders involved in the Quality Educators for All project (Quality-Ed) have called for the promotion of mother-tongue education. This call was made at a Quality-Ed seminar held in Gulu, Uganda, from 25 February to 1 March.

The seminar, whose theme was “Quality Educators for All and Mother-Tongue Education”, was attended by 35 participants from Mali and Uganda. Among participants were representatives of EI affiliates, the Syndicat national de l’éducation et de la culture(SNEC-UNTM) and the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), members of the Steering Committee in Mali and the Initiative Team in Uganda, teachers, school leaders, education officials, EI and Oxfam Novib.

Mother tongue education, a tool for Africa’s sustainable development

The purpose of the seminar was to share knowledge and experiences on mother-tongue education, to review progress, and to consolidate the Quality-Ed Programme.

In his keynote address, Professor Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe from the African Academy of Languages argued that mother-tongue education should be promoted and used as a tool for sustainable development. “Africa is a multicultural and multilingual continent and all its languages should be promoted to achieve sustainable development,” Professor Matsinhe said.

In order to promote mother-tongue education, Professor Matsinhe called for a change in attitude and a strengthening of teachers’ capacity to teach African languages.

EI: Quality-ED partners to be involved in MDGs and EFA consultations

EI Senior Coordinator for Education and Employment and Quality-Ed project co-leader Dennis Sinyolo shared information about the post-2015 development and education agenda and urged the partners to be involved in ongoing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) consultations.

The participants stressed the need to ensure that competence in mother-tongue education is given priority in teacher training and continuing professional development. They also emphasised the importance of developing teaching and learning materials in the mother tongue.

Good work underway

Quality-Ed partners in Mali and Uganda shared knowledge and experiences on mother-tongue education and from the Quality-Ed project. In Mali, the Quality-Ed partners, working with the Government and teacher training institutes, have trained 600 community teachers. In Uganda, the teacher-competence profile and other materials produced by the partners have been adopted as official Government documents. In Uganda, the partners are also supporting the teachers’ professional development and monitoring progress in 40 schools, with a view to expanding the teachers and school leaders’ professional development in up to 240 schools in Northern Uganda.


At the conference, EI was represented by Emanuel Fatoma, Senior Coordinator for Africa, Samuel Ngoua Ngou, Coordinator for Africa, and Dennis Sinyolo. Oxfam Novib was represented by Mirjam Horstmeier, Quality-Ed project co-leader, Rose Dolo and Roos van der Sanden.

To find out more about the Quality Educators for All project, please click here.