22-10-2022. TALK #11: Effective ways teachers are managing larger classrooms for effective children’s learning.
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RADIO TALK SHOW#11 22nd /10/2022
MODERATOR: NAKIRYA BRENDA DOREEN
DISTRICT EDUCATION OFFICER (DEO), MAYUGE DISTRICT: ALLEN
THE HEAD TEACHER BUSESA MIXED IN BUGWERI DISTRICT: MWOITI ROSE
MODERATOR: Our dear listeners, I want to welcome you to today’s show, we are on Busoga One 90.6 FM, Omwoyo Gwa Busoga, it’s exactly 12:00pm on this Saturday afternoon of 22nd October 2022, we are ELEVATE Partners for Education who always remind you that we hold the knowledge and means of ensuring our children receive the best or ideal education as the opening or introductory credit states, I am Nakirya Brenda Doreen from Community Concern Initiative Uganda, we operate in districts like Mayuge, Jinja, Luuka, Buyende, Kaliro and Kamuli, I salute and appreciate all our dear listeners who make it a must to tune in to Busoga One every after a fortnight in order to be part of the talk shows, this is our second last show, our next show will be the last one, let me send greetings to all those people that are in different districts where we operate like Iganga, Luuka, Mayuge, Kaliro, Kamuli and Bugiri.
I am very happy today because I have two ladies in the studio as my guests, so we are only women in the studio today, I don’t know why the Lord has done it this way but in most cases, we have been used to hosting at least a lady and a gentleman but it’s different today, I want to thank the Non-Government Organization called ELEVATE The Partners for Education who financially sponsor us and ensure that we have the air/commercial time to bring this program to you, they (ELEVATE) work towards boosting the education of children by using the available resources or materials that are around us in Busoga region. At this juncture, let me give a chance to my guests to introduce themselves to you, they will tell us their names, their employment stations and where they live or stay, I will start with the lady seated in the Centre.
1st GUEST: Thank you very much madam moderator, our dear listeners tuned in right now, thank you for listening to us, I want to thank and appreciate ELEVATE, The Partners for Education and Busoga One for giving us this opportunity, I am Allen Jaliya Nabirye, the District Education Officer (DEO) of Mayuge district.
MODERATOR: You are very welcome madam to today’s show.
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: Feel at home, my second guest seated on my right, please introduce yourself as well.
2nd GUEST: Let me thank ELEVATE, as well for giving us a chance to talk to the nation, I am Mwoiti Rose, the head teacher of Busesa mixed in Bugweri district.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you very much my hosts for coming to the studio to be part of today’s show because sometimes you may invite some guests for some interaction and they may fail to come or show up, but I am grateful that you have managed to show up, today, we are going to brainstorm and share on the theme “ how teachers can be able to teach very many children or pupils in the same class and ensure that they learn or grasp the content that is being taught to them”, that’s what we are going to talk about today, let me just remind you that on the previous show that was hosted by my colleague in the profession and who also works with Global Integrated Skills Centre in Iganga , Mr. Balondemu Simon, on 8th October 2022, that show had you, our dear listeners as the guests because the show was all about listening to your views as you interacted directly with the host, that show’s theme was about “what you, in your capacity as a parent, teacher, head teacher, local leader, etc. has done to add value or what you are doing differently to boost the education of your children”.
A lot was talked about like the responsibility of educating a child being for both parents not a particular parent like it used to be back then because that responsibility rested on the shoulders of the father, they said taking a child to school until he/she finishes to the final level is all about sacrifice and commitment, they also said that in order for the child to make it or finish, the child has to play his/her role, the teachers plus the parent, callers advised parents to continuously work with the teachers to ensure their children get good grades, some parents called in and said they are continuously going to school to add onto their transcripts or upgrade in order to help some of the children in need and also act as examples for the children because once they see adults continuously going to school even after finishing a particular level, it encourages them to continuously go to school, they went to tell us that in Namayingo district, some parents came together and managed to set up a secondary school which was later taken up by the government and made it a seed school, this helped so much because there was no secondary school in the area at that time, the callers advised parents not to neglect children with disabilities but facilitate them as well to go to school because it’s their right to enjoy the same services and facilities with those without disabilities, they gave examples of a school whose head teacher is partially blind all that was made possible because that head teacher was given the opportunity to go to school despite his/her partial blindness, so other parents with such children should give them a chance to go to school, and so many others, due to the interest of time, I will not mention each and every thing that transpired on that particular show but all I know is those who tuned in got the information first hand and learnt a lot from the callers.
But today, we have another theme which is “how teachers can effectively teach large numbers of pupils in the same class and ensure they grasp the content that is given to them!”, you have heard my guests introduce themselves and madam Mwoiti was selected or chosen as the most innovative and creative head teacher whose methods were effective in the whole country in 2019, she also shortly returned from Ireland where she was studying, so she will shortly tell us herself all about that experience in Ireland and what she is doing differently to get good results in her school.
So it’s no secret that government aided schools usually have very many children or pupils who attend them, we shall get views from the DEO of Mayuge district because she is in the studio with me today, most government teachers usually tell us that they face quite a number of challenges copying with the very many children, so madam Nabirye, we want you to share with us about the ideal number that is supposed to be in a classroom and what some of the challenges that teachers who teach big numbers of children face and how they can solve those particular challenges!, I have asked very many questions at the same time but you can answer each question once at a time like, the first one which is how many children are supposed to be in the ideal class?
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Thank you very much our dear listeners and moderator, according to the ideal Ugandan standard, a primary classroom is supposed to have 55 pupils or children, a teacher is supposed to teach that particular number of pupils, if the number exceeds 55, then the pupils are too many for the teacher. Like I said I am a teacher from Mayuge, I have 142 primary government aided schools in the district, the total number of pupils in those schools is 137,501, but you find that all those pupils are not equally and fairly divided to fit the total number of schools, so you look at the average in the district and we base on every teacher in the district that we have, so each teacher is given 79 children even though the ideal or standard figure is supposed to be 55, but you still find that that’s the district average but when you go to an individual school, a school like Balita,you find a classroom with around 300 pupils, when you go to Wabulongo, you find 400, you go to Bwonda and find 450 in a single classroom, those figures show the deteriorating or drop in the standards, where there are supposed to be 55, the number exceeds by big margins.
So, the other question was about the difficulties or the challenges that teachers face when teaching big numbers of children or pupils, those big classrooms create very big challenges for the teachers because from P.1-P.4, we tend to have a classroom teacher system where we give each classroom a teacher to teach the subjects to the pupils as the smart curriculum from P.1-P.3 i.e. we teach the same thing but we break it down or disintegrate it because the children don’t want to know what the subject is but they are interested in content that will help and how they can apply them, so you find the process of preparation or planning by the teacher takes a long time work, which makes the work complicated and later on irritates and doesn’t make the teacher comfortable when carrying out his/her duties or roles.
Then a teacher is still not capable of giving time to each particular child because of the big number, so the teacher will not be able to reach the particular children with disabilities who are mixed with the ones without disabilities because we are trying to implement the inclusive education initiative, so the teacher finds him/her helping or reaching out to just a few of the pupils which may not be the teacher’s intention but because of the big number and that particular is not superhuman, so that void is created because to try and reach out, you may give a child half a minute, he/she may not be able to point out, know and shift the visually impaired pupils to places near the black board because of the commotion and crowded sitting arrangement.
Due to the big number of pupils, the teacher faces a difficulty just as I would also face of moving swiftly through the corridors or isles to reach the children in order to get their attention, for example my school Bwonda P/S, desks are taken outside during class hours simply because the space they occupy can be occupied by the pupils and it would be useless to have them in class yet some pupils cannot access them because of the overcrowding, so the teachers make the children sit on the floor instead, so the teacher stands near the blackboard and he/she may not even be able to turn or shift his/her position, it makes the children seated at the back disturb their friends or colleagues, the teacher cannot reach those particular pupils disturbing because the ‘would be” corridors and isles are also occupied and in the end loses control of the classroom which also affects the syllabus coverage.
So those are the challenges with teaching a big number of pupils because the teacher finds him/herself lecturing instead of teaching because of the limited movements during the lesson which limits the pupils’ grasping of the content being taught because of the limited engagement in demonstrations, in case the lesson requires that pupils come at the front of the class and role play, all this is limited because of the little space, the teacher will only be able to pick 2-3 pupils and the larger number will have missed out, this also creates a hostile atmosphere among the learners because they may assume the teacher has a few favorite pupils, which makes them lose interest whenever that particular teacher enters the classroom, this affects their learning patterns and their love to participate during the lesson, even when the teacher tries to ask questions that require the pupils to put their hands up, there is still limited time to call upon every child whose hand is up so most of them are still left out.
Even when you give them an exercise, you select a few books that you can be able to mark in the smallest possible time, simply because the children are too many, even when you choose to give them enough exercise that can make them busy for some time, you may not be able to collect mark all their books in time, so you choose to give them little and at the end of the lesson, you cannot tell P.1 pupils to interchange books with colleagues so that they can mark their own books, the pupils are too young for that, that method may work from P.4 upwards, even when that happens, because of the big number, you cannot check each and every book in time to find out whether they have marked themselves well or accurately, all this affects the standard at which the child is meant to study.
MODERATOR: Those challenges that you have talked about, how can we reduce or solve those particular challenges because I know you were also once a teacher and you went through the same experience and hardships?
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Thank you very much, but I am still a teacher, so there is no reason why should use the past tense.
MODERATOR: Since you are a DEO, some of us may assume that you are no longer a classroom teacher.
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Not really, teaching doesn’t stop because I also usually go and check on how my fellow teachers are performing their roles in their respective classrooms so everything I am sharing with you is firsthand information and true experiences that teachers face in a daily basis, so how can we manage these big classes and ensure that the children study effectively is, my fellow teachers who are in service, we cannot remove the bug number of pupils simply because it’s the government’s initiative to see to it that every child attains an education, that’s why we are encouraging everyone to bring his/her child to school, one of the problems we have is that there aren’t enough buildings or classrooms to accommodate big numbers but we want every child “in the school going age to” report to the school, so there is no hope of reducing the number of children, they are still going to be many but when they do come, let’s help them study.
I am encouraging all teachers out there, we once in a while visit some teachers and we are very pleased with them, they make the children form groups, in what we call group methodology, there are small groups and big groups, so at the beginning of a lesson, a teacher must come into the class when he/she is happy or in a good mood, because when you enter the classroom in an angry mood, the pupils also become angry and moody, start with a signal song that you taught the children already, in that whenever they see you entering the classroom, they also know and expect that particular song to be sang to put both the teacher and the children in the mood to learn something new, it’s always good to give the children also a responsibility, some children learn more from their fellow children than the teacher, once they are many, let’s give them the responsibility of serving out or distributing books to each other, give them a chance to lead group discussions, send the children home after class and tell them to mask their parents to help them make instructional materials, put initiatives to attract parents to continuously visit the school, even though the parent took the child to a very high crowded school, the fact the parents continuously visit the school to find out how their child is doing is very motivational to the child because he/she knows that you as the parent, know what he/she goes through every day at school.
We can also put in place some other things that can help a child study well like games and sports, music, dance and drama, P.E or physical education which appears daily on the timetable can also help simply because they get the chance to practice what they have studied in the classroom during the P.E time, once we decide to give these children for example in the lower section curriculum, we should give these children tasks to do, like telling the P.1 girls to report the next day to school with dolls, telling the boys to report to school with ropes, there is also art and technology in primary school, tell them to bring brooms in case you are going to teach the vocabulary using the brooms, that’s where you will find some children bringing in door brooms and some bringing out door brooms, some will bring the ones that are used in the latrines, so once you are to teach the various example of brooms, you will have various live examples to use, so in so doing, the child will have started learning straight from home with the parent who is helping him/her make brooms, dolls, etc. and you the teacher who will help in categorizing and telling them their uses, continuous assessment tests, whereby if there are 100 children in the class, make sure that every day, you assess at least 10 and keep records of their weaknesses and strengths until you finish all of them, so that in the next cycle, you handle each of the children’s weaknesses and build on their strengths but there are some children who are very irregular in attendance, when those ones come, make it first priority to attend to and assess them because you are not sure whether they will show up the following day. This method also helps in identifying the fast and slow learners, it helps you find out which children are capable of helping their colleagues and in turn making them leaders of the particular discussion groups, using that method, if you are not relying on the end of term exams, you can easily know and realize a child’s strength and weakness on a daily basis rather than based on an exam (end of term) because the big number sits the exams all at once and marking and assessing may be hard and tedious at the same time.
Another thing, when we are going to teach either big or small classes, a teacher is supposed to tell the learners what they are going to study about at the beginning of the lesson and tell them that at the end, you expect them to be able to pronounce particular letters, write particular sentences and others but still in my jurisdiction in Mayuge, there are seven islands, the children are not very many because you may find an island with just one school, so a rich parents and a poor parents have no choice but to take their children to the same UPE school, let me give you an example of Sagitu P/S, you may discover that the school has 400 children, that number may appear to be small yet in Bwonda P/S, you may find that the P.1 class is made up of that number (400), the problem comes in when at Sagitu, the whole school is only made up of two buildings, among the two buildings, in one building, they use papyrus reeds to divide the whole building in the middle, and you find P.1 occupying a certain corner of the building, P.2 and P.6 are adjacent to each other, the papyrus reeds are not sound proof, so when a teacher speaks in a particular corner, the whole building gets to hear what the teacher is teaching, so there is a lot of sound pollution where it’s hard for learners to concentrate on a single teacher’s voice, that island does not have any trees, just a lot of grass, some learners are told to sit and have their lessons outside in the grass yet this grass harbors snakes and dangerous insects like red ants, it’s very hot outside, the teachers use big stones to give support and erect black boards in front of the learners, so when there are strong winds, they push the black boards to the ground, so the problems that the schools on the islands face are equivalent and resemble the schools that have very many children in a single classroom, this negatively affects the standard of education.
MODERATOR: Now madam, how can the parents try to help and solve this problem of teachers teaching very many learners in the classroom?
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Thank you very much; parents are the owners of this issue, I am also a parent but first of all, parents helping their children study is the most important endeavor because once the parent doesn’t take the initiative, there is nothing much that a teacher can do since education and learning starts from home but very many parents give birth to children but a few parents take the initiative to take on their responsibilities and do what is expected of them, so parents themselves should fully take on or carry out their responsibilities straight from giving birth to the children and then ensure that these children are taken care of in every desirable aspect which also includes being taken to school, the only way you qualify to be referred to as a parent is by helping your children attain an education because you can give birth and choose not to earn the title of a parent.
So my fellow parents, lets the take the initiative to provide scholastic materials and requirements for their children to use at school, you find a child who was given one book by the parents and he/she is supposed to use that particular book for all the four subjects, even when the teacher realizes the child is a slow learner and needs to be helped, the teacher may fail in his/her endeavor because there isn’t where the teacher can write, so parents, please love your children, I think it was this week that I heard of a parent in Luuka district who strangled his child because he lost a pencil, but you can imagine, a simple pencil yet the child was an 8 year old in P.1 , so parents should first love their children and show them that whatever they are doing is good, they should show them that they really care, when a child brings home a report at the end of the term, a parent should not first look at the section of the school dues, the duration of the holiday and start complaining even without looking at your child’s performance, you should first look at the child’s performance, appreciate and encourage where need be e.g. if the child learnt how to read and write, before looking at the circular, ensure that you buy for that child books and pay for them to feed at school as well. Because children on a hungry stomach will not concentrate and because they are very many in the classroom will just play.
Parents should also ensure that they visit their children to monitor the trends in their performances and also help in making some of the instructional materials that can be used by their children to study at school, these days we have what we call class days, once a teacher of a particular class calls for the parents in order to discuss about your children’s performance, please take the initiative to attend and put in place all that has been discussed, although most parents who do attend are the female or the mothers, these attend in big numbers and take the initiative because of the much love and attachment with their children, don’t wait for the teachers to send their children at home but ask the teachers during this time about what their children need like how many more books, pens, etc., but when she goes home and tells her husband or father of the child, in most cases, he scorns her for accepting to bring all those scholastic materials yet they have very many children to cater for, so the husband doesn’t know why the teachers are asking the parents to provide all the materials to the children and instead of asking the mother who attending and was explained to by the teacher, he just deliberately refuses to comply.
Parents should seriously take on the initiative to love their children, motivate them, and continuously check their children’s books on a daily basis when they leave school for home in the evening, talk to them in order to get positive and accurate feedback, take the initiative to look into your child’s book and see the spread or the difference between the ticks and the crosses even though you the parent, didn’t go to school, check with the teachers to find out whether the child reaches the school every day when he/she leaves home in the morning.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you madam, you will continue to share with us later on, let me turn my attention to Madam Mwoiti Rose, I think she has the largest number of pupils in her school in the whole Busoga region and she will tell us the total number of children plus the number of teachers who are in the lower section by herself.
MWOITI ROSE: Thank you very much moderator, Busesa mixed P/S has the highest number of pupils in a single school here in Busoga region, this year we have 2,451 boys and girls, the teachers on the government payroll 33 and 4 teachers who are privately paid but all together, we need 46 teachers in order for us to handle this big number of children and teach them effectively, so we are less by 13 teachers, from P.1-P.3 there are 12 teachers.
MODERATOR: Now, since you have a very big school, how many children do you have in each class?, you will tell us but we want to know, how do you manage this big number of children or what methods do you use to ensure that you effectively teach such big numbers of children?
MWOITI ROSE: Like the DEO has just said, the ideal figure should be 55 children per teacher or in a classroom but we as Busesa P/S, you find 100 children in a single classroom being attended to by one teacher one time I was reading a report on one of the news investigators and the report said that in Africa and Asia, there is no problem and its okay for a class to have very many children or pupils because of the high population, fertility and pregnancy rates in these continents, the head teachers and teachers are okay with it and take pride in the fact that classrooms are overcrowded but according to standard and ideally, there are not supposed to be 100 pupils in a classroom.
MODERATOR: But do you mean 100 as a whole class or just a single stream?
MWOITI ROSE: I mean in a single stream with the largest population as compared to the others, because the biggest class in our school has 400 pupils, so in such an incident we divide the number by 4 and put them in 4 streams which consist of 100 pupils each.
MODERATOR: So because of the big number you chose the method of putting learners in streams! So we want to know how you manage to educate such a big number of pupils and ensure that they grasp and learn content to ensure that they understand what is being taught.
MWOITI ROSE: First and foremost, in order to succeed, the teacher has to dedicate him/herself and put it your understanding that being a teacher is like voluntary work because we spend most of our time teaching but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have other activities that we do but we choose to neglect all other activities and concentrate on our profession and we also know that we (teachers) hold the most precious and important thing in the nation, which is the children because without them, the nation doesn’t and cannot go forward, so we need to think outside the box, strive and struggle to effectively handle the big number of children in the classrooms because there is no way of removing or getting rid of the big number of children but instead embrace it because it’s like a disease that invaded our country and it has no cure.
The children have to be many in the classrooms the DEO has said simply because there are not enough classrooms in government-aided schools, like she gave an example of the school on the island which only has 2 buildings and papyrus reeds are used to divide the spaces in those buildings to find rooms for learners of different classes.
MODERATOR: Yes in fact, even with schools with many buildings, you find children studying under trees.
MWOITI ROSE: So that’s why we also divide them into such groups and then we even break into group breaking to another level because even the 100 are broken down into groups of 10, we give our bright children responsibilities of leading each group, leadership starts from an early age because these chosen children take the responsibility of finding out whether their colleagues in the group have all handed in their books to the teacher, nowadays education is very competitive so they ensure that their groups perform better than the rest, this competition is healthy because children end up taking studies seriously by paying close attention in class and asking questions where they have not understood.
We tell each teacher to transform or think of a classroom as his/her own home and treat the children as members of his small family which makes him get to know each and every pupil personally, we even introduced the initiative called “teacher-parent” which makes a teacher both a parent and a teacher at the same time.
MODERATOR: Isn’t it a little hectic when the learners are very many for the teacher to achieve or play the” parent-teacher” role?
MWOITI ROSE: That’s why I first said that there is no way of removing the problem of many children in government aided schools, so by using the parent teacher method, the teacher has to make sure that he/she finds a way of setting or frequently adjusting the sitting arrangements, whether you make them sit facing each other or back to back , in order for the teacher to create enough space for the corridor which will enable him/her reach every pupil when he/she thinks it’s necessary, whenever a child realizes that a teacher can reach him/her whenever that teacher wants to, in case that child is undisciplined, he/she will eventually have to change his/her ways, a teacher has to make sure that he/she learns or grasps each and every child’s name in that even when the teacher meets a child outside, he/she must be able to call out to that by name, any name like Rose, whether is the religious or surname works as long it belongs to that particular child because children tend to behave mischievously once they realize that the teacher doesn’t know his/her name.
A teacher must create an environment of peace and harmony in his/her classroom, a teacher is not supposed to be very tough and bark at pupils, there are some teachers who have a very poor habit of moving with a stick or a cane because once you move or entrée the classroom which has very many learners most especially in a class full of “post covid” children, you may cause problems for yourself because they may run out and leave you with an empty classroom, so you must shout at pupils, be kind and gentle with them, continuously counsel and give them advise on matters that may not only be about their education but be a role model and father figure at the same time, make them your friends and tell them what you expect from them before at the beginning of every lesson, reward them at the end of the lesson and give them feedback, children need to be praised and commended with simple words like “good job, well done, keep it up” whenever they do something good, a teacher can either write in their books after marking a particular test and the child has passed almost everything or verbally telling them once they contribute in the classroom during the lesson.
Through the teacher doing all this, a very calm atmosphere is created in the classroom and eventually, you become friends with the pupils and they will also continuously strive and work hard to impress you in order to get these comments from you, their teacher, a teacher can also hold meetings alone with the pupils of his class to handle matters that may not be necessarily studies’ related but also that may be on discipline or their behavior, you sit on a round table and exchange ideas and solutions to pressing issues, get ideas from the children on how the classroom is supposed to look like, if you create such strong bond with them, they will eventually start reporting to you some of the indiscipline cases by their colleagues for example in Bugweri district, there is a very big problem of children working in the sand mines, they can tell you the names of some of their colleagues who may be absent on that day and even testify to having spotted him/her working in the mines, the group leaders can roll call and report to you for example that among the 10 of his/her members, only 3 or 4 have reported and even give reasons like sickness, defaulting, employment in the sand mines, etc. all courtesy of the meetings that are held by the teacher and the pupils.
MODERATOR: So delegating responsibilities makes the “children leaders” responsible for their colleagues.
MWOITI ROSE: Yes, and something else, once you are in the classroom teaching, make sure that the children don’t break their concentration or focus on you, the teacher, that’s why it’s better to know each and every child’s name because once you notice that a particular one’s attention has been taken by something else, you can call out their name like Aisha to get back her attention, there are some methods of signaling to get back your pupils’ attention that you may have taught them, you can either just randomly call out any child’s name or simply clap and the whole class will stop what they have been doing and focus on you, the teacher instantly. Those days we used to have called “brainstorming” or “mental work”, every time you enter the classroom, engage them with the spelling bee or the multiplication table to sharpen their minds, you should make learning fun and exciting for both you and the pupils as well, there are some teachers whom he children even usually talk about as being boring, this is very bad for a teacher to be branded that way.
MODERATOR: Okay madam, you will add on that after we come back from the short commercial break, I don’t know why the clock seems like it has been put on fast forward, madam Allen had shared with us how parents can help to ease the teaching of very many children but you, madam Rose will also comment about that later on, after the short commercial break, our dear listeners will be able to call in and also share with us on today’s theme, the numbers you will dial are 0776 989 906 for MTN and 0757 906 906 for Airtel, you will be able to call in and tell us “how teachers can effectively teach large numbers of children in class and ensure they grasp the content being taught to them effectively”
Okay but as we wait for the “credit tune about Elevate”, madam Mwoiti can go ahead and tell us about how parents can help teachers in teaching big numbers of children in class and ensuring that they grasp the content being taught to them effectively.
MWOITI ROSE: Teachers can greatly help immensely and in fact, if parents commit themselves, the child cannot fail to pass with good grades, first of all they must strengthen their relationship or bond with their children’s teachers, through that the child will fear to misbehave both at home and at school simply because if he/she misbehaves at school, the teacher will report him/her to his/her parent and when he/she misbehaves at home, the parent will report him/her to the teacher, by creating such conditions, the child is assured to be molded into a well-disciplined learner because of that fear that he can be punished both at school by the teacher and at home by the parent, even when he/she tries to run, punishment will prevail either way. They should heed the teachers calls for meetings, in case they are called on to provide particular scholastic material like sets, graph books, etc. enable their children to eat at school y paying their required money or taking maize, either packing for their children food on a daily basis to solve the problem of their children starving or learning on hungry stomachs or when individually called upon by the teachers to handle issues pertaining their children’s discipline or behavior, attend functions that schools organize like open day, speech day, MDD, games and sports day, etc..
Helping to talk to their children about good morals and behavior, counseling them, encouraging them to continuously go to school and pay attention in class, through building and boosting the relationships between them and the teachers, it’s not a sin to take something for your child’s teacher during the harvesting season to show that you also appreciate him/her for the good work he/she is doing. By strengthening the relationships between the school, community and the children, we are assured of our children getting good grades and results.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you madam but at this juncture, lets receive some phone calls, please dial these numbers to reach us 0776 989 906 for MTN and 0757 906 906 for Airtel.
RICHARD FROM NAMUSIISI: I am appreciating the wonderful theme that today’s show is based upon because as I speak right now, I am with a child who has just arrived home from school but he claims that his teacher mistreats him, so teachers need to be trained on how to handle or treat children.
MODERATOR: So you as a parent, how do you help a teacher in ensuring that he handle a child properly or in the right way?
RICHARD FROM NAMUSIISI: All I can say to the teachers is that despite the fact that they are their teachers, these children are their bosses, every time you are at work and you know that the customer is my boss, it makes you work effectively, well and properly.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you very much sir, let’s get our next caller
KALULU BOSCO FROM GADUMILE: Thank you for the wonderful show and the brilliant theme, I just wanted to appreciate and commend you.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you for calling and listening in, next caller say hello.
YUSUF FROM THE CENTRE: I am also appreciating you for the good show.
MUTEBE ANDREW, A TEACHER OF BUTTE P/S: Thank you very much madam Allen Jaliya Nabirye because you are on ground, it has really showed me that you deserve to be called a DEO, and you didn’t just fall from heaven and then handed that office but you deserve and qualify for it, you surely went through the same experiences as the rest of the teachers and you also know very well the challenges of teaching a very big class indeed, because the children are very many but you have elaborated very well and showed us that a child who has no friendship with a teacher doesn’t learn, because some of us teachers most of the time have a habit of showing our negative side thinking it brings out our authoritative nature like, knocking children in the head with our knuckles, pinching them, etc. but positively, you can find a way of handling and communicating with children in a cool and empathetic way and get good results out of them even without using harsh punishments that involves inflicting physical and psychological pain, so I am very thankful to you madam for sharing with us and you moderator for the wonderful show.
MODERATOR: Thank you also for calling in Mr. Mutebe Andrew.
EDRISA FROM NAKASONGOLA: I am just appreciating the educative program that you bring to us that effects change, let me just add on that its true, discipline and academic excellence move hand in hand, a disciplined child has very high chances of passing highly with flying colors as compared to the one who is undisciplined, so, we are all parents, let’s try to counsel and advise our children in order to get them off the wrong paths and get them back in line because “children are the future generation”.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much for calling.
KAMADA JOHN FROM BUKUTU: I am appreciating you and the caller Mutebe Andrew, I educated my children from Butte P/S where that particular teacher is stationed, I thank him for the “words that have come out of him” because it’s so true that there are some teachers who have no or don’t form friendships with the children that they teach, they inflict pain on the children, the children fear to approach and ask them about something they didn’t understand in the lesson because they are usually gloomy, moody and angry, so the children choose to distance themselves from them, even those who try and approach him/her are greeted with canes, slaps and knocks in the end. So teachers should style up and reform in order to effectively teach our children because that’s why we take them to school and entrust them with that responsibility.
MODERATOR: Sir, how do you think teachers can effectively teach big numbers of children in a single classroom or how do you as a parent help those teachers?
KAMADA JOHN FROM BUKUTU: First of all, there has to exist friendship among parents, teachers and children, once the child goes to the parents, he/she should expect love and friendship, once he/she goes to parents, he/she should find the same every time a child approaches you without fear, he/she will grasp whatever content you give him/her and even understand it better than the case when he/she approaches with fear and panic, because as you are elaborating or teaching, that child’s heart is pumping very fast and trying hard not to make a mistake. Even as grownups, once you talk to someone out of fear, you don’t get good results or resolutions, that are why we don’t talk to the police because they are harsh and angry all the time, they don’t talk but bark at people which creates fear and uneasiness. So the teachers and parents should form relationships of love and harmony with the children.
NO CALLER ID: I am just appreciating you for the wonderful show.
BENARD FROM BUPADENGO: The problem comes in when parents don’t give their children time; a parent goes a year without talking to the child’s teachers, without going to check on his/her child’s studies and welfare at school.
MODERATOR: So please give the parents some advice, he has gone off.
CALLER FROM MAKUTU: The problem is that our children are also timid and have an element of self-fear; it also prevents the child from effectively learning or grasping the content that’s being taught. Thank you, bye.
MODERATOR: Okay, thank you for calling, lets first put the phone calls on pause and give chance to our guests in the studio to react to some of the information that has been given to us by the callers. Our last caller has said some of our children have an element of self-fear in most cases when the class has very many pupils or learners, how do we help such children?
MWOITI ROSE: Thank you very much for that question; like I said earlier on, we divide the class into groups of 10, in order to specifically get each child’s strengths and weaknesses, for example, there children who fear, ones who are very talkative, and other traits, but the method of disintegrating and putting them in groups helps a teacher find out these attributes and traits, so the best way is for the teacher to bring the child who fears closer by forming a bond, bringing that child closer or relationship that is stronger than he/she has with other learners, as time goes by, that child eventually gains confidence and stops fearing.
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: Thank you very much for the opportunity, a method that can work is by encouraging debates in schools where we give them a motion and opportunities for them to openly air out their views and side of the motion irrespective of whether they are proposers or opposers, through this airing out his/her views and trying to convince other fellow colleagues or learners, slowly by slowly, the child will gain confidence and in the end get rid of the element of fear from his/her system.
Then still, as we teach those big classes, as an incentive to help these children study, we adopt or use the method of demonstrations, in that when you are teaching in the English structure or even in the lusoga structure where one learner asks the other a question and the one being asked also responds with an answer while standing in front of the whole class, the element of fear leaves the leaners ’systems because of the confidence that is gained in these demonstrations in front of the classrooms where by their colleagues clap for them every after a session, even when you ask that particular child a question and he/she gets it right, you as the teacher can ask their colleagues to give him/her flowers to boost his/her confidence, even when the child gets an answer wrong, don’t bark at him/her and directly attack him/her by saying that’s wrong but thank him/her for the good trial which is a positive feedback that these children feed on because it keeps enticing them to keep on trying and then ask another learner to help give that child the correct answer.
Give the children information to take and read for like the head teacher, tell the child to even go and read for the parents, give them a task to listen to the news when at home because you will ask each child what the news was all about, every time children get chances to stand in front of the classroom, confidence is slowly built and in the end, they will stop fearing, most of the children we put in dramas, skits, in the field to play football as the whole school spectates get rid of fear very fast, even those that we give the responsibility of leading or heading those discussion groups get rid of fear because they know that they will be called upon on several occasions to give information pertaining their group members, children who have the confidence and support of the teachers, parents and the community gain confidence because they know that they are on the right path or are doing the right thing.
MODERATOR: Thank you, my guests, for sharing that educative and beneficial information with us because that method of leadership is good because it helps build confidence and since leadership starts at an early age and is “a gift from God”, these children can use the experience and become good future leaders in the nation. We are requesting that the two of you give the teachers out there some advice in order for them to continue teaching these big numbers of children in their classrooms without losing hope or giving up, we will start with you!
MWOITI ROSE: Teaching, is all about committing yourself and it’s a very precious profession, and teachers should know that they hold the most precious and valuable asset in the nation which is the children, and they should know that they are the resource that is of most value that the nation can have or possess because God gave the teacher the ability to do something and see to it or ensure that it comes true so I encourage them to continuously commit themselves to their profession, the profession that they possess can only be equated or equivalent to the work that Jesus Christ of Nazareth did, since he was also a teacher, even prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was also a teacher, let the commit themselves and carry on teaching with all their hearts, bodies and souls to teach their children, I am not saying that they should not carry out other endeavors but they should put educating first and those other endeavors should just be added onto the first priority which is teaching.
MODERATOR: Okay thank you madam; please conclude by sending out greetings to at least two people so that we shift to Madam Allen and also get one more caller as we end the show!
MWOITI ROSE: I am sending greetings to all teachers of Bugweri district that the job they are doing is the one that is going to uplift the status of that district and the rest of the nation as well, thank you very much.
MODERATOR: Thank you madam Rose, now let’s have madam Allen the DEO also give out some encouraging words and advice to teachers most especially those that teach big numbers of children on how they can effectively teach these children in order to grasp the content that’s given to them.
ALLEN JALIYA NABIRYE: My good and fellow parents of Bunya, Mayuge district, and all other teachers of the nation, let’s love our profession, once you believe in yourself as an individual, and pronounce or utter it out by yourself, borrowing a leaf from the born agains who say that for one to become born again, he/she must proclaim and utter the words by him/herself, once you proclaimed and uttered that that’s the profession you chose by yourself, we moslems have a saying that if you are to appreciate the lord, “don’t look at someone who is doing better than you are but look at the one you are doing better than”, don’t start getting the mentality of admiring and feeling sorry for yourself since you are an arts’ teacher and science teachers are doing so well, you develop a mentality that you were created by the lord to help those people who are poor and low-income earners.
My major aim is to change these mentalities that some of the teachers in my district of jurisdiction have, if I change them for the better, then I will have succeeded in performing the role that my creator designed me to do using my office, so teachers out there should believe in themselves, let’s manage our selves and get out of the multiple loans because they are the reason why some teachers are losing hope and focus, you see teachers running and hiding when a centenary bank car passes by their school, let us just manage ourselves well as we also manage the children, let us love the children that we teach, once you love your job, you will automatically love the children and their parents as well and in the end, whatever you will do concerning the subject matter will be good, let’s teach the children with one heart and transform them also into what our teachers transformed us into so that they also become important people who will help this nation as well.
I am sending greetings to all my people most especially Hajji Idi Isabirye, my husband and I am also praying the almighty Allah to help guide and direct the children who are already doing (S.4), those that are soon going to start (P.7 & S.6), I pray that the examinations are easy for every candidate so that they do what is required of them and meet both their target and for the teachers as well.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much madam Allen Jaliya and madam Mwoiti Rose, let’s get at least two more callers as we conclude the show.
MANDE ROBERT FROM LUWEERO: I am requesting that these teachers, who have very big numbers of children in their classrooms have very strong teateamworkd not have divisions, if your colleague is not available for a particular lesson, please fill that gap so that the children don’t miss out in that particular period.
The second point is the head teachers should constantly call for meetings where they can encourage the teachers, parents and pupils in order to get good results and grades. But most head teachers grew lazy and abandoned their responsibilities; they no longer call for meetings, they no longer instill discipline among the children and they teachers also no longer implement good morals in the children.
The third point is when these children are studying; other classes should appoint group leaders who should ensure that their group members do assignments and homework, these (assignments and homework) should not be abused by the teachers who don’t want to mark them because they claim the books are very many, that has been my contribution to the talk show.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Mr. Mande.
MUGOYA FROM NAMAYINGO: My words of encouragement to the teachers is that since I also went to school, the reason why children don’t study very well is that some teachers think that standing in front of the class while holding a cane is the only way that children will understand what he/she is teaching, some teachers have a tendency of writing information on the blackboard, then asking the pupils some questions, even without giving them time to think, he/she instantly starts caning them one by one, such teachers create an atmosphere of tension and pressure, that’s why children even fear to consult or ask for another explanation, instead of the child thinking of an answer all their eyes will be focused on the cane the teacher is wielding in his/her hands because they think you are going to cane them, thank you for the wonderful show, goodbye.
MODERATOR: Thank you for calling.
BUBULIZI THOMAS A BODA BODA RIDER : On today’s theme, all three stakeholders, parents, teachers and children have to work hand in hand in order for our children to get good results, because where there is friendship, nothing can fail, even when there is a very unfavorable economic climate full of poverty, famine, etc. a parent should still come and talk to the teachers because even our lord and savior Jesus Christ was a teacher but in his lessons, he constantly preached about working together and “loving a neighbor the way you love yourself”
MODERATOR: Thank you very much for calling in, that has been our last caller for today’s show, we appreciate all those who have managed to call in to today’s show and shared with us, our guests here in the studio, we also that ELEVATE The Partner for Education for financially sponsoring and enabling us to have this talk show, much has been talked about from which I am sure we have all learned, the love between the child and his/her teacher is paramount in ensuring our children learn in the classroom effectively.
I am sending greetings to Community Concern Initiative Uganda where I work, greetings also go to my parents who reside in Magamaga, I am reminding you that today’s talk show is our second last of its nature and the last one this year will be held after a fortnight on 5th-NOVEMBER-2022, we want to thank you for always tuning in and listening as well as continuously calling in to contribute or be part of these shows since our very first one at the beginning of this year.
We wish you all the best, may the LORD BLESS YOU
GOOD B YE