Has Tanzania Banned Swahili From All Secondary Schools?

Claims that Tanzania banned Kiswahili from secondary schools started surfacing on social media on January 12, 2023, after prominent Kenyan lawyer Prof. PLO Lumumba, shared a screenshot of an article. 

The claim was published here and also carried into opinion pieces such as this one praising the purported decision.


Tanzania adopted Kiswahili as a national language upon attaining independence in 1964 under the leadership of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Kiswahili gained prominence globally after recently becoming Africa’s most spoken language with over 200 million speakers spread over 14 countries according to UNESCO.


DW Africa pulled down the post in question replacing it with a post clarifying that Tanzania has not banned Kiswahili as a language of instruction in schools.

Screenshot of the rectified DW post

Additionally, the official Twitter handle of the Chief Spokesperson of the Government of Tanzania flagged the claims as False. “Tanzania has not abolished Kiswahili in secondary schools,” the post reads.

In the same post shared on Twitter, Gerson Msigwa who serves as the Director of Information Services reiterated the importance of Kiswahili in Tanzania. “It would be impossible to ban the use of Swahili in any of our schools,” the post concludes.


Claims that Tanzania banned Kiswahili from Secondary Schools are FALSE.

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