Language, Democracy and Education in Africa

Language, Democracy and Education in Africa

Language, Democracy and Education in Africa

Language, Democracy and Education in Africa

Synopsis

This publication comprises two papers. In the first paper, "The Language Question in Africa Seen in the Context of Globalisation, Social Justice and Democrazy", the language question is looked at through the eyes of a social and political scientist. The second paper, "The Battle over the Language of Instruction in Tanzania", focuses on the question of language of instruction through the eyes of an educationist.

Excerpt

This publication is built on two papers, both written during January and February 2002 when I was a guest researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI).

The NAI-editor of the publication has merged the two papers into a coherent whole where paragraphs and information in paper one which originally could also be found in paper two are now deleted. Likewise the references behind each paper have been merged.

In the first paper, I look at the language question through the eyes of a social and political scientist. I view the language question mainly as a question of social class, of power. What social classes profit from the continued use of European languages in Africa? Who benefits? Who loses? My focus is also on language use in the courts and in the political domain in Tanzania and South Africa. a slightly modified version of this paper will be presented to the Communication and Culture Commission of the International Peace Research Association at a conference in Seoul in July 2002.

The second paper is an extended version of my talk to the nai Research Forum on 24 January 2002. It describes the two research projects in which I am now involved in Tanzania and South Africa. in this paper, I focus especially on the question of language of instruction and do so through the eyes of an educationist. As I did during my nai Research Forum talk, I place greater emphasis on the Tanzanian part of the project.

I am grateful to the nai for providing me with congenial working conditions at the beginning of my sabbatical year and for publishing these two papers. Since both projects are in their early phases, I shall be happy to receive comments on the papers making up this publication.

22 February 2002

Birgit Brock-Utne . . .

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