Language enables human beings to communicate ideas,
intentions and emotions to others of the same language system thus
facilitating personal discovery and development, and the participation in
society by way of sharing experiences in the social, political, and cultural
spheres of life. Critical thinking and ethical judgement can also be
developed through language. It enables the individual to co-determine the
development of a democratic society and be jointly responsible for it.
As German is the mother tongue of more than
100 million people living mostly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and border
areas with France, the Netherlands and Denmark, the teaching of German as a
Foreign language gives the learners access to realities in these areas,
thereby broadening their horizons. Through meaningful inter-relationship
with other subjects, such as Geography and History, more effective learner
appreciation of such topics as international relationships, education for
environmental awareness, health, gender issues and global peace can be
Through the teaching of German, the
learners’ perceptions and concepts of life and the world are enriched and
respect and acceptance of themselves and people of other language
communities are promoted. At the same time, the learners are enabled to
critically compare the way of life in German-speaking countries with their
own and utilise the insights gained to reduce prejudices against others.
This exposure fosters national and global peace.
Of the 100 million German-speaking people,
the larger proportion live in the Federal Republic of Germany, which is a
nation friendly to Kenya
and plays an important role as a trade partner and as a donor country within
the European Union. Cultural, political and economic intergovernmental
agreements between the two nations have attracted a number of German
companies and investors to Kenya.
Kenya is a
popular travel destination for numerous Germans and is the most significant
centre in East Africa for international exchange in
many areas, such as education, culture, economy, health and technological
and environmental development. International and German aid organisations
and cultural institutions such as the U.N., DED (German Development
Service), GTZ (German Technical Co-operation), DAAD (German Academic
Exchange Service), to mention but a few, have their African headquarters in
Nairobi; the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes in Nairobi is the biggest
surviving branch in the region.
German universities and other institutions
of higher learning on the other hand, have been attracting Kenyan students
from various levels of education and fields of interest. Through the contact
between the two cultures, partnerships with German and Austrian towns and
schools have continuously been maintained for many years.