English teaching centers nowadays abound in Bujumbura. The Government of Burundi through the ministry in charge of the East African Community affairs is active in the promotion of this language.
By Nadine Nkengurutse Pierre Claver Nsengiyumva as published by partner IWACU
After closing or end of business hours, one can see how many Burundians are determined these days. Most of them go to take English lessons despite their fatigue. English is indeed a must for EAC integration! English learning training centres are currently many and the number of learners is increasing day after day. The English language training centres’ managers indeed acknowledge: "We get a lot of people who come to learn."
“Some of them are parliamentarians, officials, traders, tourists, etc.,” says Félicien Harerimana, responsible for English Language Center (ELC). He indicates that the centre’s clients come for two main reasons: "The first reason is linked to the entry of Burundi within EAC and Burundians have to use English in carrying out their socio-economic activities. The second reason is related to the problematic of employment because for most job opportunities, the fluency in English is a prerequisite.”
Though the centre requires each learner to pay nearly 75.000 Fbu per quarter, Mr. Harerimana considers this amount not high in these dire times when Burundians complain about the high cost of living. "Of course they have money to pay, but most importantly, they think about all the advantages they will gain after learning English."
Moreover, Harerimana is proud of recent winners’ performance who did not know a single word in English when they came to register: "We have taught English to traders who knew Kirundi and Swahili only when they came. Now, they are doing well in English.”
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