Language Issue and Global Education: A Dilemma to Kenya

Mary Khayongo Lonyangapuo


Most multilingual African nations face challenges in the attempt to participate in global education. One of the major challenges is that of language, which is central in global education. This paper aims at making explicit the dilemma that faces Kenya with regard to language and global education. It is based on the premise that most multilingual nations find themselves at cross roads as they try to participate in global education. A descriptive research design has been used in the study, with some statistical analyses that are based on the Kenyan situation. The critical social theory, whose focus is on unearthing the changing power relationships with a view to offering a voice to the ‘unheard’ and challenging inequalities in the society, has been used. Findings show that Kenya does not fit in the global society because of the incompetence of most of her population in the use of the preferred global linguistic system. which only favors the few that are socially privileged. The paper recommends that multilingual African nations such as Kenya put emphasis on the provision of the ‘right’ global linguistic system to all if these nations are to fully participate in global education. Thus, it should not just be about the quantity but the quality of what is offered. I also recommend that Kenya concentrates on improving and maintaining her own social, cultural, economic and political structures even as she seeks to participate globally. It is hoped that recommendations made in this paper will be of benefit to language planners and policy makers in multilingual African nations.



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