BUJUMBURA February 22nd (ABP) – The Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Ezéchiel Nibigira released, on Monday February 21st, 2022, a statement on the occasion of the celebration of the international Day of the mother tongue, a check on site by ABP has revealed.
Mr. Nibigira indicated that this Day will be celebrated under the theme “the use of technology for multilingual learning” at the international level while in Burundi the theme “Kirundi as the basis of knowledge leading all Burundians to the rendezvous of development”. He has indeed shown that it is time to take into consideration Kirundi, our mother tongue, national and official.
When one is not able to use the mother tongue, to pronounce it in a speech without inadvertently introducing foreign words and expressions, one cannot learn in particular the history of Burundi, medicine, mathematics in a language that we understand at 30% and hope to reap something.
Minister Nibigira said that Kirundi is a language that we are called upon to promote and develop, it is a tool that we can use to teach and show techniques in all areas because we live in a changing world and metamorphosis very quickly; we must ensure that the lexical stock of Kirundi follows that evolution instead of remaining on the sidelines and risking abandoning Kirundi definitively to adopt other languages.
Areas including social, technical, economic, political, should not continue to be in foreign languages but in Kirundi. In that case, certain social categories of Burundians will no longer be condemned to remain on the margins of development with a single language as a barrier. He further indicated that in some countries, as the acquisition of nationality is conditioned by a certificate of language, civic knowledge of the country and in other countries, there are many trades and positions that one cannot apply for if they do not have a national language certificate.
In our country, Kirundi is a language understood by all inhabitants and used almost exclusively in all services. It makes sense to make that language a condition for hiring rather than making it a condition for languages that almost no Burundians speak at work.