Exploring experiences of lower primary school teachers in teaching through local language as a medium of instruction in Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Anjum Halai

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mary Oluga


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study explores the experiences of lower primary teachers in teaching through a local language namely Luganda. The study conducted in Wakiso district in Uganda aimed to discover issues that emerge for teachers in the course of their teaching practice as they learn alongside teaching in local language without prior knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in a local language. Employing narrative inquiry, data was mainly collected through one-on-one interviews and supplemented by a focus group discussion, lesson observations, and analysis of relevant documents. Findings revealed that teachers were expected to learn to teach in Luganda, their second or third language, in and through their practice. Without prior knowledge and experience, learning to teach happened at the expense of the teacher’s self esteem and at the expense of learners’ learning. Yet the society and learners did not value teaching and learning in Luganda due to the perceived socioeconomic and socio-political benefits of teaching and learning in the English language. As a result, teachers experienced a tension in reconciling society and policy expectations and were confronted by dealing with the controversies in the local language policy. Thus learning to teach in Luganda was both emotionally and professionally challenging for teachers. Without adequate support to teachers amidst such challenges, teachers reverted to their original practice of teaching through English medium. I have therefore made recommendations to practitioners and policy makers to redress the shortfalls found so as to enjoy the attested benefits of local language instruction.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library