News & events


Implementation of local languages in primary schools in Northern Uganda: a case-study of language planning from below

21 February 2014
12:30 - 14:00

Speaker: Prof. Kathleen Heugh, University of South Australia

Date:  Friday, 21 February

Time: 12h30  – 14h00  

An NGO, Literacy and Basic Adult Education (LABE), working in the North West Nile and Northern Uganda after 30 years of civil conflict, including the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony, has developed a holistic strategy for rebuilding communities and implementing government education policy. This strategy is multi-pronged and involves close collaboration with: village communities and primary schools which serve villages; local, district and national level education officials; development of orthographies and  reading materials in local languages; capacity building of various sets of stakeholders, including government; and a teacher education handbook for use across the national system.

Kathleen Heugh will present a seminar based on her recent research in Uganda, drawing attention to how the LABE approach has led to unexpected capacity building and the opening up of micro-economic enterprises in a region which has been left with a seriously damaged civil and public sector and long-term post-traumatic stress. Of relevance to other countries and education systems of Africa, is the ways in which communities (parents, grandparents, older siblings) have become increasingly drawn into collaboration with the primary school education of children.

This seminar is being held by Education and Skills Development in order to honour the UNESCO International Mother Language Day, which falls on 21 February each year.

Please RSVP by 20 February 2014

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below.  

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: