Influence of Local Language Use on Students’ Academic Performance in Lower Primary Schools in Gatsibo District, Rwanda


  • Nambajimana Vumuriya Jean De La Paix Mount Kenya University
  • Dr. Hesbon Opiyo Andala Mount Kenya University
  • Dr. Mugiraneza Faustin Mount Kenya University



This research assessed the influence of local language use on students' academic performance in lower primary schools in the Gatsibo district of Rwanda. Specifically, the research aimed to identify the factors influencing local language use in these schools, analyze the academic performance of students attributable to local language use, and assess the overall influence of local language use on academic performance. The study employed a descriptive and correlational design using a mixed-methods approach. The population consisted of 718 respondents, including 118 teachers and 600 parents. The sample size of 259 respondents was determined using the Yamane formula. Respondents were selected through purposive sampling, and data were collected using questionnaires and document research. A pilot study was also conducted. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21, and interpretations were based on the results provided by the respondents. For the first objective, 91.2% of respondents agreed that class group discussions in the local language were beneficial, and the same percentage agreed with providing tests in the local language. Regarding the second objective, 90.0% agreed that there was a low level of speech development in English, 88.3% indicated a low level of English writing skills, and 81.9% reported low levels of reading skills. For the third objective, 93% agreed that government educational policies advocating class group discussions in local language led to low levels of language acquisition. Correlation values also indicated that teaching in local language positively influenced language acquisition levels. In conclusion, the study shows that factors such as class group discussions, teaching methods, explanations, and tests in the local language influence academic performance. The results indicate that low levels of language acquisition, speech development, and writing and reading skills are observed in national exams. All these factors significantly contribute to low performance in English, as indicated by p-values less than 0.05. The study recommends that educational stakeholders collaborate to improve English proficiency. The Ministry of Education should also provide instructional materials for the English language. Further studies should explore the importance of English proficiency at all educational levels and its effects on other factors affecting students' performance.

Keywords: Local Language Use, Students’ Academic Performance, Lower Primary Schools, Gatsibo District, Rwanda

Author Biographies

Nambajimana Vumuriya Jean De La Paix, Mount Kenya University

Department, Education, Mount Kenya University, Rwanda

Dr. Hesbon Opiyo Andala , Mount Kenya University

Department, Education, Mount Kenya University, Rwanda

Dr. Mugiraneza Faustin , Mount Kenya University

Department, Education, Mount Kenya University, Rwanda


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How to Cite

Nambajimana, V. J. D., Andala, H. O., & Faustin , M. (2023). Influence of Local Language Use on Students’ Academic Performance in Lower Primary Schools in Gatsibo District, Rwanda. Journal of Education, 6(3), 44–57.




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