Pluralism, Language and the Constitution


Author: Jill Cottrell Ghai

This paper examines the linguistic situation of Kenya, with a brief account of the history of government policies in the field of education and elsewhere in regard to language. It outlines the constitutional provisions as well as recent policy and legislative moves and explores the impact of devolution. It concludes –tentatively – that, though there is considerable commitment to strengthening the place of Kiswahili, the task is not easy. And policies on other languages than Kiswahili and English are not clear. In fact there is no really vision of Kenya’s linguistic future. It ends by raising the issue of the connection between respect for language and respect for the communities as people.

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