Rebecca Crook, ‘Sisimba Primary School Tanzania’, 2016, Museum of African Design (MOAD)

“No English, no service”
We once sat in a class where a student had articulate notes on global capitalism in his notebook in English. When I started to talk to the boy after class, asking him his name and favorite thing at school, he could not reply. English was the primary language of majority of the schools we visited. To be sure, it is a language of privilege and power, a useful currency in today’s global world. Yet, I wonder the benefit to enforcing English as the sole language when students are not able to understand content and more importantly forgo opportunities to think and write critically in their mother tongue in favor of a foreign language.