TEACHERS RELATED CHALLENGES TO THE USE OF MOTHER TONGUE AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN SELECTED GOVERNMENT AIDED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN BIISO SUB COUNTY, BULIISA DISTRICT
The study investigated teachers’-related challenges that affect use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction in selected government primary schools of Buliisa District, western Uganda.
The focus was on teachers’ competencies in use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction in lower primary grades; teachers’ awareness of the importance of the use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction and its effects in lower primary grades and teachers’attitudes towards use of mother tongue.
Uganda Government developed a mother tongue policy in an effort to increase literacy in rural children attending formal education through familiar languages to promote improvement in early numeracy and literacy, encourage more children quality and equitable education.
The policy was given more prominence in 2007 with the introduction and implementation of the thematic curriculum that re-emphasized use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction in lower primary schools.
The study employed a cross sectional design involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 19.0 and presented using frequency tables, percentages, means and standard deviations.
The findings showed that teachers’ competences on use of mother tongue had an impact of overall mean of 3.88 with minimum of mean of 3.61 and highest 4.19. The correlation level of competence and usage of mother tongue was 0.70 implying that 49% of variations in usage of mother tongue is explained by teachers’ competences.
The most outstanding teachers’ competences affecting the use of mother tongue was teachers’ ability to combine class teaching, pair practices and individual learning in mother tongue helping the teaching – learning process. The results using descriptive analysis indicated that teachers’ attitudes towards the use of mother tongue is significant by an overall mean of 3.83 with lowest mean of 3.41 and highest with 4.23.
The correlation level was 0.607 and 54% variations in usage of mother tongue explained by teachers’ attitudes. The results indicated a good indicator of variation of usage of mother tongue explained by teachers’ attitudes. The outstanding teacher’s attitudes toward use of mother tongue were that, the usage of mother tongue in classroom creates a friendly atmosphere for reading and literacy skills development.
The results also indicate that teachers’ awareness on the importance of the usage of mother tongue as a medium of instruction had an overall mean of 3.31 with lowest standard deviations. The correlation level was 0’68 at 51% variations of usage of mother tongue explained by teacher’s awareness of importance of mother tongue as a medium exchange.
The study concluded that the greatest challenge to mother tongue education was inadequacy of teacher’s capacity to effectively implement the use of local language as a medium of instruction.
The study recommends that the government through education agencies in collaboration with other stakeholders needs to re-focus on deployment of teachers that are competent to use mother tongue, support their continuous professional development and also find ways of motivating them to effective support teaching and learning.