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Krio in Parliament please!

Krio in Parliament please!

I have been following the debates in our parliament and I have realized that some of our Members of Parliament can speak English very well; MPs like Bernadette Lahai, Sheku Dumbuya and some others are eloquent speakers who have mastery over the use of English.

However, I am sorry to say that some of our MPs always expose our parliament to academic ridicule whenever they use English to contribute to the debates, a situation that is not going down well with me, especially when I consider the fact that the debates are now done on television in the full glare of the public.

I am fully aware of the unpleasant and unavoidable fact that the use of English has become a national problem as evident in the mass failure of pupils in BECE, WASSCE and other public exams. This problem may be a primary factor for the dumbness of some of our MPs.

I have noticed that some of our parliamentarians recede in their lobbies, sitting like statues, while sensitive debates proceed, probably, fear of speaking poor English and, consequently, being mocked by TV viewers or even their clever colleagues.

Regarding the foregoing observation I am patriotically obligated to recommend the introduction of Krio as the official medium of communication in parliament. The use of English as the official medium of communication in our parliament could be the main reason why some of our MPs remain silent in parliament.

I am strongly convinced that introducing Krio as the official medium of communication can embolden some of our MPs to be participating regularly, not once in the blue moon. Introducing Krio in parliament can also help reduce the number of dumb MPs and make our parliament livelier and more vibrant.

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  • I fully support your suggestion that Kriol be the main medium of communication in our Parliament. In addition to the reasons you highlighted as to why Kriol should be the main-stay, it is no brainer to speak the common language (Kriol) in parliamentary debates – which even uneducated citizens understand. Our Parliamentarians should remember or, must be reminded that they were voted into power by a considerable number of uneducated electorate from various tribes, majority of whom Kriol is the common parlance by which, for example, Mendes and Temnes can communicate with each other. Our Politicians (albeit educated) mirrors and represent these groups in parliament. Thus, for them to be debating national issues in a language alien to the majority, who have taken the trouble to vote, at best raises suspicion that either they are up to something sinister, or barricading themselves in foreign grammar from national glare and scrutiny which is the centrepiece of a true democracy and, at worst an insult to the majority who do not understand a word in English. Leave the English language for the use of the President, Minster of Foreign Affairs and such like, when dealing with foreign affairs or speaking to foreigners – it is permissible – otherwise an insult to those who cannot understand them. It is about time we finally lay to rest this colonial souvenir and embrace ours. KING NIMBANA, BAI BUREH et al are not happy with the current state of affairs. RESPECT THEIR WISHES!
    My radical suggestion is Kriol should be included as a written language in our schools’ curriculum. I am Temne by tribe, but the fact that ninety per cent (90%) or more of the populace can speak or at least understand Kriol makes it appropriate to be taught in our schools.

    8th June 2013

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