Makerere University has launched a new Masters programme in French Language Studies. The programme was officially launched by the Deputy Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) at Makerere University, Dr Wamala Robert on 15th September 2021.
The main objective of the Master in French Language Studies (MAFLS) is to build professional capacities in the mastery of the French Language, develop skills in the pedagogy of French and impart knowledge on the cultural and political relations of the Francophone world. The programme is hosted by the French Section of the Department of European and Oriental Languages, under the School of Languages, Literature and Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University.
The programme offers students historical, economic, political, linguistic, cultural and pedagogical perspectives to the Francophone world. It also engages the graduate students in the critical debates of topical issues and current development challenges relating to Francophone and other societies. It emphasizes comparisons and contrasts with other development scenarios and interactions with other stakeholders both within and outside Africa.
MAFLS is structured into two strands; PLAN A and PLAN B. PLAN A is by coursework and dissertation/thesis and here emphasis will be put on using research skills and problem analysis to create knowledge mainly through investigation. This option will enable institutions in the country and the region to train their staff for academic career development. PLAN B is by coursework, internship and research paper. This alternative will be for students who require in-service language and practitioners’ training and not necessarily pursuing the traditional rigorous research skills but rather seeking the mastery of the French Language and grounding in functional competencies.
The Programme will initially be limited to 40 students and will cost UGX 5,000,000 for Ugandan and East African Students and UGX 10,500,000 for International students.
The Master of Arts in French Language Studies is planned to start in the 2020/2021 Academic year for a period of over two years of two semesters each.
Addressing the press, the Deputy Director, DRGT, Dr Wamala Robert commended the Department of European and Oriental Languages for its commitment to strengthening the training and learning of languages in Uganda. This programme (MAFLS) will specifically see Makerere University crossing francophone borders, hence sharing economic, socio and cultural ideas. It comes at the right time in terms of workforce development, as required in the National Development Plan (NDP) 3 as well as the national, regional trans-border, and the global Sustainable Development Goals. We shall be equipping the young workforce with new skills and competencies,” he explained.
The Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire said the programme would largely boost the training of trainers of the French language in the country. “The programme comes in handy to develop the human resource capacity for the new public and private universities which are starting to set up units of Languages. It is also a very important programme in terms of promoting regional and international cooperation. I thank the Department of European and Oriental Languages for working tirelessly to develop the programme.”
The Dean, School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr Saudah Namyalo reiterated the significance of the programme in enhancing regional and international cooperation.
Delivering her remarks, the Head, Department of European and Oriental Languages, Dr Edith Natukunda -Togboa appreciated Makerere University Management and the leadership of CHUSS for the support accorded towards the development of the programme. Dr Edith Natukunda – Togboa has been at the forefront of promoting the programme that is largely intended to enhance the training and learning of the French Language in Uganda and across the African Continent.