10-09-2022. TALK #8: how school stakeholders are strengthening the working relationship between the school community in improving children’s learning
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TALK SHOW 8 TRANSCRIPTION
MODERATOR: BALONDEMU SIMON
C/M PTA KIROBA P/S BUKANGA, LUUKA DISTRICT: WANZU JAMES MUDUNGU
HEAD TEACHER OF BUYUGE P/S, KALIRO DISTRICT: BWIRE DAVID
MODERATOR: That’s so true; I want to invite you to the show, its 12:00pm, this show is proudly sponsored by ELEVATE Partners of Education, we are so happy today once again because we get to interact with you, I want to appreciate you for all the previous shows you have taken the initiative, tuned in and listened to since the show’s inception, I want to welcome you our dear listeners in Busoga region plus those that are outside the region, those from Iganga, Bugweri, Luuka, Mayuge, Kaliro and Bugiri districts where this project of Elevate or Positive Deviance operates, I am Balondemu Simon, the host of today’s show that airs from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, there has been a change in the time and duration of the show because initially at the start it was from 2:00pm to 3:00pm but now it’s from 12:00pm to 1:00pm in the afternoon on a Saturday, every after a fortnight, I work with the Non-Government Organization called Global Integrated Centre located in Iganga district, we do various activities like working with youths that have just left school plus the schools themselves, by teaching them handcraft jobs or jobs that you can do with the available resources and raw materials in society, we encourage parents from outside Iganga to bring all their children who may have dropped out of school due to some un avoidable circumstances, like early pregnancies, lack of school fees, etc. so that we teach them these handcraft jobs, we also work in the development of health.
I have two gentlemen as guests in the studio today; let me let them introduce themselves by telling us their names, their portfolios and their residences, I will start with the Mzee seated in the corner, I welcome you sir to the show today, please introduce yourself to our dear listeners.
1st GUEST: Thank you very much Moderator, I am Wanzu James Mudungu from Kiroba P/S located in Bukanga, Luuka district, chairman PTA.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much Mr. Wanzu James Mudungu, it’s a pleasure and an honour to host such a prominent person in the studio, he is the chairman PTA of Kiroba P/S. Our next guest, please introduce yourself.
2nd GUEST: Thank you very much Mr. Balondemu Simon, for this opportunity to introduce myself to the listeners of Busoga One radio, I am Bwire David from Buyuge, Head teacher of Buyuge P/S, Kaliro district.
MODERATOR: Thank you Head teacher Mr. Bwire David, you are welcome to today’s talk show in the studios of Busoga One, I am sure the listeners are also pleased to have you as a guest in the studio. Okay those are my guests in the studio today and I still want to commend and thank Elevate the Partners of Education for financially sponsoring us which has enabled us have this talk show every after a fortnight which is a period of 14 days or two weeks from each talk show, where we talk about issues concerning the education of our children, we have the saying that “we hold the ways, means and knowledge in ensuring our children receive the best or ideal education” , we (Elevate) boost the education of children in Busoga region by using the available resources that are exist around us or in our settings of life. Today’s theme is “how school stakeholders are strengthening the working relationship between the school community in improving children’s learning”, that’s what we are going to talk about with the guests in the studio today.
On the previous show that was held on 27th August 2022, hosted by Nakirya Brenda Doreen who works with Community Concerns Initiative in Mayuge and other districts with guests like Mr. Katooke Samuel the Head teacher of Bulyansime P/S in Bugweri and a parent, Mr. Hannington Gwebawaira the Reverend of Butte P/S in Mayuge district and shepherd of Kirinya prisoners, they shared and brain stormed on the theme of “solving the problem of absenteeism of children and delay or failure to provide requirements and scholastic materials for our children to use at school”, on the issues that were talked about, allow me remind you of a few of them, the core issue that I and the listeners surely learnt from were that instead of parents taking or sending their children to school, they send them to the gardens to plant during the planting season and harvest during the harvesting season, to protect rice fields from birds from destroying and eating the rice, then failure of parents to give their children scholastic materials, requirements and feeding at school, has also increased absenteeism of children in schools, absenteeism of the teachers was also a factor because the children attend irregularly because the teachers are also irregular at school, teachers, handle the children poorly inform mistreatment and applying excessive or corporal punishments incase a child has made a mistake, which also leads to the absenteeism due to fear of being brutally punished.
All this information came from Mr. Katooke Samuel and Reverend Hannington Gwebawaira plus some callers who went on to say that the fact these children back in their villages have no role models or people to motivate them, also causes them to lose interest in going to school, some people don’t want to hear this saying that “obutasoma bululuma bukulu” which translates that a lack of an education haunts you when you an adult and have got responsibilities but you can’t access good jobs yet you have to fend for yourself, some parents become lucky or inherit property despite them not going to school, so they end up telling their children that despite them not going to school, they are doing well, even better than those people in society who went to school, these parents don’t know the value of education and such statements change the children’s attitude towards school, some parents don’t provide necessary requirements in order for their children to be comfortable at school hence absenteeism or irregular attendance, they later on the in the show encouraged and advised parents to create a good relationship between the children and the teachers plus the teachers and parents as well, for children to regularly go to school, they emphasized that parents should provide scholastic materials, requirements, uniforms and enable our children feed at school, and others.
I want to tell my guests in the studio as I start with Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James, the PTA chairman of Kiroba P/S in Luuka district, that we have now seen or noticed in schools after having sessions that we have been organizing in various schools from the beginning of this year, in different terms but we started in February, we have noticed an unhealthy or a bad relationship between schools and the parents or between the teachers and the neighbouring societies or villages, but during one of previous first shows, we hosted a man who was a chairman of the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) with a woman who was the chairperson of the School Management Committee (SMC) and I Balondemu Simon was the host of that particular show, each shared with us his/her responsibility in that particular office that each headed but as time went by, and we held these sessions with Non-Government Organizations in various schools, we noticed that the relationship between teachers and the parents has declined, that’s where I will first pose the question, to Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James, how many children do you have?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: I have two children Sir, one in primary 5 and the other in primary 6.
MODERATOR: Do they study in the same school where you are the chairman PTA?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Yes sir.
MODERATOR: Okay, so what are your roles or duties as the chairman PTA?
- WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: My roles or duties as the chairman PTA are to, talk to parents and bring their views to school and also take what has been discussed at school and take it to the parents and hold meetings with teachers to make sure we are all on the same page.
MODERATOR: So you hold meetings and get views from each side and keep each side on the same page, is that your own duty or role?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Not really, I also indulge and encourage children who are in the villages, in most cases those that dropped out or don’t want to go to school; I visit their parents and ask them to bring back children to school so that they can study, I also encourage and motivate teachers to continuously teach or attend to children.
MODERATOR: Okay that’s what Mr. Wanzu James does as chairman PTA at Kiroba P/S Luuka district, or those are his roles and duties, what can you tell us about the nature of relationship between the parents and the children?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: The nature of relationship between the parents and the children is that parents want their children to go to school and attain education, children need motivation and counseling frequently as a drive force, so that they get to know that education is a necessity and is crucial if they want to lead good lives.
MODERATOR: So that’s how you understand and can comment about the relationship between the parents and children!
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Yes, that’s what I can comment about that relationship.
MODERATOR: Okay Mr. Wanzu James, chairman of PTA of Kiroba P/S Luuka district, I know the head teacher of that school is listening in right now, what is his name?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: His name is Mr. Musalalira Stephen.
MODERATOR: I know he is tuned in right now and is listening to your views concerning the subject matter, now you as the chairman PTA, what measures have you put in place to strengthen the relationship between the parents and the teachers, plus with the teachers and the surrounding community or society?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: I have been chairing meetings, where I invite the parents, teachers and the children in that same meeting, in order for them to understand what is being discussed because all we share and talk about affects them directly, parents air out their views and parents also do the same.
MODERATOR: Now when it comes to these meetings, how often do you call for them because your meetings involve parents, teachers and children at large, in what intervals, do you call for meetings?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Sometimes, I have meetings with only the teachers, then we call for a general meeting, sometimes we call parents of children in particular classes so that we find problems and the solutions to those particular problems, in most cases we join parents of P.6 and P.7, P.5 and P.4 this method enables disintegration of matters to the core, since we sit with a few parents at a time in these particular meetings.
MODERATOR: Okay, that’s a good method, but from your point of view, as the chairperson PTA, what are some of the factors that hinder a good relationship between the parents and the teachers?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Thank you very much moderator, this is a very big issue but some of the factors are, once a parent brings a child to school, since our school is government aided, he/she knows or thinks that his/her work is done since they know that the government provides schools with the Universal Primary Education (UPE) funds every term, so they think the government is supposed to cater for everything else.
MODERATOR: Is that how the parents of your school behave?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: There develops a very big gap simply because of the mentality of such parents, these parents become completely negligent to buy e.g. books and pay for their children to feed at school because they assume the government will cater for all that, so when the teacher sends the child home to bring a pen or a book, the parent at home will blame the teacher by even saying “we are tired of these teachers sending our children home every time” yet the teacher doesn’t also have the capacity to provide books for every child who lacks one in class, the teacher doesn’t have the capacity to provide porridge for all the children whose parents didn’t pay for, to eat during time for meals, once the teacher sends the child home to bring maize, the parents don’t like it and they sometimes say that the teachers are mistreating their children.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James for that input into today’s theme of the show, it is true that some parents, instead of taking on their responsibilities and providing requirements for their children, end up blaming or hating the teachers who keep on telling them to go and request for a particular requirement from a parent. The parents think it’s the responsibility of the teachers and the teachers think it’s the responsibility of the parents, each side ends up “playing the blame game” which broadens the dent in the nature of relationship between the teachers and the parents.
Now Mr. Wanzu, how do you think we can improve the nature of relationship between the community and the schools at large or the parents and the teachers, what should be done?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: We must continuously and frequently call for meetings, in order to sit and explain to the parents about their responsibilities and roles they play in the education of their children, plus explaining to them the roles and responsibilities of the teachers in the education of their children, so when both sides knows their roles and what roles are not theirs, it brings both parties back together and in so doing narrowing the gap between the parents and the teachers.
MODERATOR: I want to thank Mr. Wanzu James who is both a parent and the chairman PTA of Kiroba P/S in Luuka district for coming to today’s talk show; we also appreciate your wonderful views on our theme. Let me turn my attention to my next guest in the studio, Mr. Bwire David, from Buyuge and Head teacher of Buyuge P/S Kaliro district, very many times, we have heard very many head teachers of schools and teachers claiming that parents are not performing their roles and duties, and like we have heard from the chairperson PTA, some parents are not paying school fees, they are not buying school uniforms for their children, are not providing the requirement for their children to eat at school, they don’t even visit their children at school in case the schools call them for those occasions and so many others in that circle.
On some occasions, we have seen parents carrying out demonstrations and strikes by sounding alarms and drumming to show discontent, and chasing away teachers and head teachers from government aided schools, and those particular school staff end up being changed like they do to some officers at the district in local governments when it comes to transfers, how many teachers do you have at your school?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you for that question Mr. Moderator, Buyuge P/S in Kaliro district is a big school.
MODERATOR: When you say it’s a big school, what do you mean?
BWIRE DAVID: I mean it has very many children or pupils; the staff is not that big though.
MODERATOR: How many children or pupils do you have at your school?
BWIRE DAVID: I have 1156 children, and 12 teachers.
MODERATOR: That’s quite a big number, how do you manage such a big number of children with such a small staff, what is the teacher to children ratio?
BWIRE DAVID: Of course the ratio is un-favourable and is a disservice to the children but we manage.
MODERATOR: How does a staff of 12 teachers handle 1156 children, okay how many female teachers make up the 12?
BWIRE DAVID: There are only two ladies or women on my staff and 10 men including myself because I am also a teacher.
MODERATOR: Okay we shall simplify the language for you in either “lulamogi” or “Lutenga”, but this is a really big number of pupils that you have. How is your relationship with the teachers of Buyuge P/S?
BWIRE DAVID: As the head of the school, we all know that nothing is perfect, however much all staff may try to be perfect, there are those few characters that find themselves astray in one way or the other, but I can firmly say that the relationship between me and my teachers is good.
MODERATOR: When you say good, what do you mean? Throw some more light there.
BWIRE DAVID: I mean they listen to the instructions that I give to them, they work even without my presence or with limited or no supervision and limited monitoring or in simplified terms, they are self-driven teachers which makes them efficient and in the end produce good results.
MODERATOR: Mr. Bwire, you have said your relationship with the teachers is good, what about the relationship between your school and the community or the parents?
BWIRE DAVID: The relationship with the community more especially with those parents whose children go to my school is around 75% good.
MODERATOR: What criteria do you use to get that percentage?
BWIRE DAVID: I use the criteria of, for example calling for meetings of the PTA or of parents of particular classes, like parents of P.7 and P.6, I use their turn up because when I expect 150 parents to attend the meeting and I register 140, this means they are compliant and really want to hear what the school has to say concerning the education of their children.
MODERATOR: Yes, that is a good sign because if the majority beats the minority by just 10, then that really shows that the relationship between you (the school) and them is really good, okay that’s one criteria, give us another.
BWIRE DAVID: Another one is, if after passing a resolution in the meetings and parents are tasked with a particular duty or responsibility, for example feeding their children at school by them eating porridge, and 75% of the parents comply and provide the necessities like maize and money for grinding, firewood and the cook to enable their children eat that porridge, that also shows that there is a good relationship between the parents and the school.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much Mr. Bwire David, for that insight into the different relationships that you have with both your teachers and your parents at large. What do you understand by strengthening the nature of relationship between the parents or community where the school is located and the school?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you very much Moderator for that question, as a head teacher I understand it as bringing the school and the parents together, through every side being able to play his or her part, if everyone understands his/her role, it will eliminate any grievances in case one part tells or reminds the other of their role or duty in a particular place and time.
MODERATOR: Which means in order to have harmony, the teacher and the parent has to understand his/her role, in order to create or strengthen the relationship so that’s how you understand it!
BWIRE DAVID: Yes, that’s how I understand it.
MODERATOR: Now like you at Buyuge P/S, what measures have you put in place to strengthen the relationship between you and the parents or the community?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you moderator, like you have said, sometimes parents are dissatisfied with some schools and end up rising up through drumming to demand for change of like the current head teacher, sometimes we the head teachers are the trouble causers of the dissatisfaction of the parents.
BWIRE DAVID: When you are not committed to your job, most especially when you are the head of the school, and you don’t act as an example or a role model, you just impose resolutions onto them without calling for meetings, parents end up losing interest and confidence in you, you despise and hate the parents who rise up against you and demand for your transfer, and forget that you are the trouble causer, so to prevent that from happening you must change your lifestyle, become exemplary, be a role model in the community and frequently call for meetings to keep them updated before passing resolutions, produce good results, so that the parents also see for themselves and appreciate the way their children are performing. Those parents don’t see their children lollygagging on the way to school during school hours, for example 2:00pm they are loitering in the market in school uniform, teachers show up at school at their own convenience, they don’t care whether they are late or not.
These parents are our inspectors, once they realize and notice that the school is no longer in your control or your hands, your relationship with them will deteriorate hence their sounding of the alarms and drumming but when they see the school is in your control and everything is the way it’s supposed to be, your relationship with them will be strengthened for the better.
MODERATOR: Okay except getting them good results, is there any other way of strengthening the relationship?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you moderator, the other ways of strengthening the relationship is by being transparent, the maize and the money that has been contributed for the children to feed has to be accounted for in the general closing meeting, you must show the chairman PTA and the chairman SMC that accountability for example if you collected 8 bags of maize, tell them that you used only 4 and show them the remaining 4 bags, then afterwards take them to the store and assure them that they are safe to avoid any grievances, show them the trends in the performance of children, the financial state of the school, what you expect to do in the in school budget, in order to promote transparency and in the end will strengthen the relationship between you and them.
MODERATOR: Okay, I want to thank you Mr. Bwire for the information and sharing with us, but let me hope that what your saying is actually what transpires at your school.
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you Moderator, I am very sure and the parents from my area are listening in right now because Busoga One is the majority’s favourite radio station in Kaliro district, I am 100% sure that the community of Buyuge P/S plus my parents whom I want to thank and appreciate very much are tuned in right now, they can testify that there is a good relationship between the community, parents and the school.
MODERATOR: Thank you once again Mr. Bwire David, now Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James, Chairman PTA, do you want to add on something to what the head teacher has just said?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Thank you Moderator, let me just add on that, all parents that are listening in right now in different regions should work together with the school committees because “a problem shared is a problem solved’ and the burden or work load is reduced when we all work together in order for our schools to move forward in terms of development and performance.
MODERATOR: I want to thank you both, my guests here in the studio for sharing all that information with us, I want to remind you, our dear listeners that we are on Busoga One 90.6 FM “Omwoyo gwa Busoga” all the words that you are hearing right now are from this radio station, the show is sponsored by Elevate, Partners of Education, let’s go for a short commercial break, we will be back shortly, then we shall open our lines and you the listeners can call in and share with us in the studio and the rest of the listeners out there, we are talking about “how school stake holders are strengthening the working relationships between the school community in improving children’s learning”. You can reach us on the following numbers 0776 989 906 and 0757 906 906 after the short commercial break.
SHORT COMMERCIAL BREAK
MODERATOR: That’s so true; we hold the knowledge in ensuring our children receive the best or ideal education, like I keep on telling our dear listeners, that they hold that knowledge, the boda boda riders out there, the bicycle cyclists, the farmer in the garden right now, the women who work in the restaurants, even us here in the studio, etc. we use our surrounding resources to boost the education of our children, just remember we are live on 90.6 Busoga One FM Omwoyo Gwa Busoga, I am your host of the show Balondemu Simon, we are moving forward with our theme of the day which is “how school stake holders are strengthening the working relationship between the school community in improving children’s learning”.
Call in right now on these numbers 0776 989 906 and 0757 906 906 to interact with us here in the studio, you tell us your name, and where your calling from and then air out your view or side of the story.
KIGOZI SHAQIR FROM BUKOONA: Parents are becoming a problem to us.
MODERATOR: How are they becoming a problem? We are talking about the relationships between the parents and the schools or teachers.
KIGOZI SHAQIR FROM BUKOONA: LOST MAY BE DUE TO POOR NETWORK
MODERATOR: We have lost him, let’s receive our second caller
DAMUWUNA FRANK FROM LUUKA TOWN COUNCIL: I am very appreciative of that gentleman from Kiroba P/S, all the information he has given us is true, I once worked there as a music instructor but from that time, the school has reached another level when it comes to development.
MODERATOR: In which way?
DAMUWUNA FRANK FROM LUUKA TOWN COUNCIL: Basing on what is ground at the school premises, we the parents and the teachers formed a very good relationship, the teachers and the children also have a very good relationship, if we maintain those relationships, and that chairman himself “practices what he has just preached”, we shall keep on supporting the school and the school is also assured of developing further to a level than it is on right now, I am an eye witness because I stay near Bukanga and Bukubembe which is close to Kiroba P/S Luuka district.
MODERATOR: Send a message of encouragement and advice to other schools out there so that they can reach the same level as Kiroba P/S!
DAMUWUNA FRANK FROM LUUKA TOWN COUNCIL: I am advising all the schools both in Luuka and outside Luuka to come to the radio station and tell the listeners how they operate in their schools, because some school are performing so poorly that the head teachers even fear to come to the radio and talk about them, I have remained Damuwuna Frank let me give a chance to other callers.
MODERATOR: Thank you Mr. Damuwuna Frank from Luuka Town Council, the chairman PTA of Kiroba P/S has also sent you greetings.
MUKISA JOSHUA FROM KAKIRA MAGOGO: Thank you for bringing those parents and teachers in the studio to educate the nation, I want to thank the government for bringing the available system right now of change in the dictionary; it has really helped because our children have started to change.
MODERATOR: How, when you talk about the dictionary, what do you mean?
MUKISA JOSHUA FROM KAKIRA MAGOGO: I mean the syllabus; it has played a very big role because our children changed for the better.
MODERATOR: Okay, that’s a good point but please talk about today’s theme concerning the relationships between the schools and the parents or the community!
MUKISA JOSHUA FROM KAKIRA MAGOGO: In our schools Buzaya P/S and Kawule P/S, there has been a good relationship between the schools and the parents.
MODERATOR: How is that relationship, throw some more light there?
MUKISA JOSHUA FROM KAKIRA MAGOGO: For example parents flood the schools on visitation day to see what their children are studying, the chairman PTA comes and keeps us informed and updated on whatever is transpiring concerning the school or our children.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much Mr. Mukisa, let’s have our next caller.
KUTUSA MARTHA FROM NSOMBA FROM BUYENDE: I just want to appreciate the theme because I had just tuned in and but let me send out greetings to Babalanda Edward.
MODERATOR: Thank you madam, for calling, I hope my guests are listening to the callers’ views and points, chairman of PTA Kiroba P/S, you have been appreciated and commended by one of the callers, Mr. Damuwuna has said that Kiroba is at a good level in terms of development and has testified to what you have been telling us, and that the good relationship between the parents and the teachers exists at your school, do you want to add something to what he has just said?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Thank you moderator, all I want to add on is that we the parents should continue to attend the school meetings and when you hear rumors, or are told by one of your children something sensitive concerning the school or a particular teacher, a child may claim the school sent him/her for something from the parent, I am requesting you to visit the offices of particular department which addresses particular a complaint or inquiry about something the child may have said, or consulting the head teacher himself, instead of staying home with grievances which may have even been caused by a false accusation or a rumor that may not be true, because some children are fond of such behaviour.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you, Mr. Wanzu, let’s have our next caller.
MUWANGUZI ALEX FROM ITAKA IBOLU: There is an issue of you going to talk to the teacher, in case your child is a defaulter, but when you leave school to go back home thinking you have convinced the head teacher to give you some more time to clear the balance, as your child studies, but as you leave the school compound or gate, your child follows you home because him/her has been sent home.
MODERATOR: Is that really possible Mr. Alex.
MUWANGUZI ALEX FROM ITAKA IBOLU: Yes that’s how it is?
MODERATOR: Okay, why do you think it’s like that because we are talking about the relationships between the schools and the communities?
MODERATOR: We have lost Alex, maybe due to poor network but we would have liked him to tell us why he thinks the status quo is the way it is, and why the teachers behave the way they do. Because I am quite sure Mr. head teacher that when a parent comes to school and talks to the head teacher about why he/she may have failed or delayed to pay the school dues, there is no way a teacher can send that child home on that exact day at that exact instant.
BWIRE DAVID: Just to add on what you have just said, it’s really unfortunate that that parent has gone off air without telling us why the teachers behave the way they do at his school, I want to give an example, basing on the school that I head (Buyuge P/S) that there are different rules of engagement, a teacher has no right to send any child home without consulting the head teacher first, which means if I have talked with a particular parent and reached an agreement, a teacher has no right to just send that particular child home.
MODERATOR: Do those rules of engagement only apply to Buyuge P/S or to all schools?
BWIRE DAVID: They apply to all schools, because the head teacher is the head of the school, when parents bring their children to school; they put them in the hands of the head teacher. Even when parents have a query about a particular matter concerning child they call the head teacher, even the DEO or other prominent people in the education office call the heads teacher when it comes to matters concerning children at school, so once the parent talks to the head teacher; an ordinary teacher has no right to overrule the head teacher’s judgment and decision concerning that particular child.
CAPTAIN BRIAN FROM KIMANTO LUUKA WHO SITS LIKE ROYALTY: Thank you for the wonderful theme of the show today, I am from Kimanto, so I am Kiroba P/S’ neighbour, parents and teachers, if the school is to develop or keep on developing must be one, if there is a school meeting, we parents should take the initiative and attend those meetings, if you are unable to attend in person, at least give another parent your message, view or concern to raise in the meeting, if we do that, the school will run smoothly but we parents take things for granted, because it’s really unfortunate when a parent fails to take maize to school to enable his/her child feed.
MODERATOR: So captain, are you trying to say that we parents are the causers of the deteriorating relationship between us and the parents?
CAPTAIN BRIAN FROM KIMANTO WHO SITS LIKE ROYALTY: Yes, parents are also responsible or play a part in the deteriorating relationship because there is no way the child will grasp the content in class on a hungry stomach.
MODERATOR: That is so true, okay thank you captain Brian from Kimanto, who sits like royalty, let’s have our next caller.
KAKAIRE SHABAN FROM BUGABULA: I just have a question for that head teacher of Buyuge P/S, how is he creating or handling the issue of parents not bringing maize to school to enable them feed, because in my area, children are being chased and are seated at home because the parents didn’t take maize to enable their children feed?
MODERATOR: I think you are hearing the caller’s question Mr. Bwire!
KAKAIRE SHABAN FROM BUGABULA: Another issue is, children have continued or are continuing to work on sugar cane plantations during school time, in Luuka, I know that there is sugarcane also in Buyuge, how has he handled that problem of those children with the parents?
MODERATOR: Are you Mr. Shaban of FFS?
KAKAIRE SHABAN FROM BUGABULA: No, that’s not me; I am just Kakaire Shaban, resident and mayor of Bugabula Trading Centre
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you for calling, Mr. Bwire David; you have been tasked with those questions!
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you very much moderator, let me first thank our caller, Mr. Kakaire Shaban for being a very wonderful listener of Busoga One radio.
MODERATOR: He is actually from Luuka district.
BWIRE DAVID: All of us have had that problem since the beginning, but what I did as head teacher of Buyuge P/S, I know the community of Buyuge is listening to me right now, other head teachers were reluctant and delayed, that’s why they are facing that problem, for us, when the harvesting season had just started, that’s when we were breaking off for second term holidays, I mobilized the parents and sent the children with letters to the parents requesting for their maize contribution, I told them to bring the 5 kg of maize and told them that even though the second term was ending, we would use that particular maize for the third term, so they complied and brought that maize at the end of the second term and that’s what we are using in this third term, and those children whose parents brought the maize started eating the porridge at the beginning of the third term without delay.
So head teachers who didn’t urge parents to bring during the harvesting period are suffering with parents, because most of them sold and grinned for home consumption (meals) since the children were in holidays during that time, now there is a crisis due to scarcity of maize, however much the head teachers ask the parents to bring the maize, they don’t respond positively because the little that was saved was for planting during the rainy season that had just started. But at Buyuge P/S, we had stocked in the store when the maize was ripe for harvesting, which has simplified life for our children and the parents at large, so when we are to send home defaulters of the maize, there are just a few children because not every parent is compliant.
MODERATOR: Okay the caller has also talked about the issue of children continuously working in the sugarcane plantations, he continued to say that he is sure the same problem in Luuka also exists in Kaliro, since you have such a big population of children or pupils at your school, how have you handled that problem?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you Moderator, I have worked hand in hand with the policy makers or politicians of the community, I wrote letters and supplied copies to the chairman LCI, sent a copy to the chairman LC III, the OC police post Buyuge , I myself, to prevent any excuses of deny of receipt, used a motor bicycle and supplied them personally to every one’s office or door, I visited each parent whose child I had identified as one who may indulge or indulges in the sugarcane plantation work, visited parents whose children attend school irregularly, issuing warnings and counseled them about the laws governing the education of their children, and also put them back in line of being responsible and ensuring their children go or reach school every school going day, went ahead to tell them that they are to be held responsible and its criminal for these children not to be at school and they can be convicted in the courts of law. That method worked on the parents who received the warning letters and then those that didn’t receive continued to enforce an “iron hand”, to ensure their children go to school, for those that were not going and continuation for those that were already going to school.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you very much Mr. Bwire, for accepting to share with us some the methods that you use at your school that end up producing good results at Buyuge P/S, I think Mr. Shaban has heard those answers and I want to request you (Shaban) to encourage your head teacher to “borrow a leaf” from the head teacher of Buyuge P/S Kaliro district. Let’s have 2-3 more callers.
KULABA KIGULAMU FROM MAYUGE DISTRICT: The teachers these ends just wake up and sit under trees.
MODERATOR: Mr. Kulaba, we are losing you, sorry, we have lost Mr. Kulaba, let’s have our next caller.
MUZAMILU FROM BUGADWE: What surprises and shocks us when it comes to these teachers is, I had a child whose name I will not disclose, I would clear every school due, to the last balance, take all requirement to school, my child was very bright but someone resorted to bribes to prevent my child from excelling or performing well, what can the guests in the studio say about that issue?
MODERATOR: Okay, they will say something about that issue, thank you for calling.
Mr. Kulaba is saying that someone was deliberately preventing his child from excelling but he has not explained to us how that person was doing that, but all he can say is that someone was issuing bribes, is that possible?
GUESTS IN UNISON: But he has not been very specific so it’s kind of hard to tackle his issue.
MODERATOR: Mr. Kulaba, we still have a few minutes; so you can call in and clarify or throw some more light on your query, so that the guests can also get a clear picture and say something about it.
ERYASA FROM BUSULUMBA: I am a close neighbour to Buyuge, but the head teacher Mr.Bwire David’s methods or the way he does his things is quite good, but the conditions and the status quo that is at Busulumba P/S are really under whelming or poor, the conditions “may even make you shade a tear or two”, we send our children at school but the teachers arrive very late, as late as 10:00am, there is need for a strict law, I am on the committee but I don’t know whether I should start booking the teachers for late coming.
MODERATOR: What is your position on the committee?
ERYASA FROM BUSULUMBU: I am the vice chairman on the committee.
MODERATOR: So you as the vice chairman just looks on or observe as the teachers report late for duty?
ERYASA FROM BUSULUMBU: Yes, but I think I should start booking them for late coming.
MODERATOR: So, how is the relationship between the school and the parents of Busulumbu P/S? Because you have commended the relationship that the head teacher of Buyuge has with his staff and parents at large.
ERYASA FROM BUSULUMBU: The other issue is that, we the parents are not fully concerned most especially, when the head teacher calls for meetings, most of the parents absent themselves, you find only 5 parents in the meeting, so how will we, the people on the committee ensure the smooth running of the school!, they end up blaming us yet there are some teachers that I see arriving or reporting for duty at the station at as late as 10:00am, 11:00am, what does that teacher sincerely speaking hope to achieve at the end of the day?
MODERATOR: Okay the “point has been driven home” our guests will respond to your queries, okay let’s let the chairman PTA of Kiroba P/S tackle that particular problem because it falls in his field, in half a minute, Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James, the caller is crying out for help, I will not mention the name of the school because he has mentioned it himself but thats not the issue, he is saying that the parents reach late at school, sometimes they just sit idly under trees not doing anything, yet the caller is the vice chairperson on the committee, what advise can you give him?
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: At my school, we put in place an “arrival and departure time records book”, so when the teacher arrives, he/she signs and indicates the time he/she has arrived in the morning and the time he/she has left in the evening, I also ensure that I visit the head teacher in order to find out which teacher is not doing what he/she is meant to be doing for example, in case he/she comes late, he/she irregularly comes to school, it has worked because we have managed to transfer like 4 teachers because of incompetence and not performing their rightful duties, among those 4, some would arrive at school on time but would not attend to the children but just sit idly under the trees.
MODERATOR: Mr. Bwire David, you have heard one of the callers commending and appreciating the good work you’re doing at Buyuge P/S as head teacher, do you have anything to say?
BWIRE DAVID: Thank you moderator, Mr. Eryasa from Busulumba P/S is that caller, who has appreciated the good work I am doing; I also want to thank him for being such a wonderful listener of Busoga One radio, his first query or problem can be eradicated or solved by the head teacher himself, because once you as head teacher arrive to school early as a move to be an example, there is no way a teacher will arrive late, in fact they will try to be arriving before you the head teacher, because there is no way you can lie to a head teacher who has arrived very early by telling him/her that you have arrived on time yet he has been there and seen you arrive at 10:00am. A good head teacher takes the initiative to find out the number of teachers who arrive on time and those that don’t, talks to them in order to effect change for the better.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you very much Mr. Bwire, the head teacher Buyuge P/S Kaliro district, we have a few minutes left to close or end the show, Mr. Wanzu, please, use those few minutes to conclude by giving your last message and send greetings to a few of your loved ones.
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Thank you moderator, my last message to all the people out there or listeners and parents, not only of Kiroba but the entire nation is, please take the initiative to report for meetings once the school has called you for that particular purpose, whether you have a negative or positive issue, bring it so that its settled or solved by the right people in these meetings, so that you go on comfortable and when you know what to do next, please come when you are called upon and also endeavor to show up on visitation days in order to see the progress of your children or reasons for their decline for the betterment of their grades and results, if you have an issue, the head teacher’s door is always open, don’t wait to first be called for meetings, come to the head teacher’s office and inquire in order to get solutions to your problem(s), if the problem is big and can’t be solved by the head teacher alone, he/she will call for a committee meeting in order to get the bottom of your problem or query.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you, send greetings to 2 people.
WANZU MUDUNGU JAMES: Thank you moderator, let me send greetings to my wives who prepare food for me at home, Florence Nabirye and Monica Magoba that I am really appreciative of the care and love that you give to me and the children, I am also sending greetings to the people of Kiroba Trading Centre, Management, staff and children of Kiroba P/S Luuka district that education is the key, once a child goes to school, he or she will have a share on “the cake of Uganda” but a child who does not go to school will not have a share on the “cake of Uganda” , thank you very much.
MODERATOR: Okay that has been Mr. Wanzu Mudungu James of Kiroba P/S, please Mr. Bwire David, you have 2 minutes to conclude and send out greetings to two people.
BWIRE DAVID: Okay, thank you moderator for hosting us today, I will not use a lot of time, I am concluding by sounding a message to all the parents out there, that they should abide by this proverb that “educating a child is about sacrifice and commitment”, you don’t have to be very rich to take a child to school, use the available resources and knowledge to take your child to school even though you are a low income earner or a peasant, there is no amount of wealth that you can give your child that is too much that it can outweigh or out value education, so please parents, take the initiative to take your children to school, I have made that statement in both the category of a parent and a head teacher, I have three children and they are all at Buyuge P/S, a government aided school where I am the head teacher, this is all true because the parents of Buyuge P/S are tuned in right now and can testify to that. I have twins that are in P.7 and their follower who is a lower class.
MODERATOR: That’s really wonderful and so unique, other head teachers choose to take their children to different schools but you chose to have your children close by for easy monitoring, okay please conclude by sending out greetings.
BWIRE DAVID: As I conclude, let me send out greetings to the management, PTA, staff and all the teachers of Buyuge P/S, thank you for the work you are doing and please continue with the good spirit of educating our children, continue to have a good relationship with the parents, once we continue doing that, nothing is impossible, thank you for listening to me.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you very much to all those that have been part of this show, I am appreciating my guests in the studio today, they have shared vast amounts of beneficial information with us, I am sure most of the listeners have learnt a thing or two, but the issue of meetings should be taken seriously by the parents, we should attend those meetings once we are called upon, we should also fulfill or take on our responsibilities as the head teacher has said, he has also encouraged and advised his fellow head teachers out there to be transparent, show accountability in whatever you do in matters concerning the school. I am appreciating our callers of today’s show, those that have tried to call in but have failed to reach us maybe due to jam or network that don’t lose hope, keep trying in our next talk shows.
We shall be here again on 24th-September-2022, so that we continue to discuss and tackle issues that will boost the education of our children, we are still bringing more guests so that they can share, educate and inform us on the problems and ways of improving the education of our children. Our theme of the day has been “How school stake holders are strengthening the working relationships between the school communities in improving children’s learning”.
Remember that we hold the knowledge in ensuring our children receive the best or ideal education, I want to appreciate ELEVATE, the Partners of Education for financially sponsoring us and this talk show, in case you want these recordings, visit our platforms social media handles and websites of Elevate Partners for education on www.elevateeducate.org, Elevate partners of education on Facebook and twitter @ elevate ed.UG under resources, you will find all our previous talk shows that we have held from the first one to the one of today.
I want to appreciate the Non-Government Organization called GIST, Global Integrated Skills Training Centre Iganga, and all the people we work with in Bugweri, all organizations that we work with in Busoga on Positive Deviance, I want to appreciate all the districts that we work with.
Let me also send out greetings to all of the listeners of Busoga One Omwoyo Gwa Busoga, my family, my mother in Magamaga who is tuned in and listening right now, people from Butiki, Namasiga, let us meet again 24th of this month,
May God Bless You ALL, GOOD BYE