23-07-2022. TALK #5: How the SMC and PTA have continued to support improved learning, now that schools are fully reopened

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RADIO TALK SHOW # 5 23rd-07-2022

Very true the wisdom to improve learning resides in each one of us, my dear I take this great opportunity to welcome you to 90.6 Omwoyo gwa Busoga Fm and this is your very program we and you have been waiting for, the program full of wisdom, insightful issues we have come and allow me to tell you that today is the 23rd of July and two minutes passed 2:00pm. I am going to take you through from now up to 3:00PM. I again take the honor to welcome you and I am your host Balondemu Simon and I take the opportunity to welcome you all outside there listening to us in Busoga and Uganda at large but most especially the districts from Busoga like Iganga and Bugweri I appreciate you, the district of Luuka, Mayuge, Kaliro and Bugiri because thses are the implementing districts of positive deviance. Balondemu Simon from Global Integrated Skills Training Centre in Iganga and Bugweri, where we work to improve learning in our children both in and out of school, health and livelihood is what we do. Great thanks to our sponsors Elevate Partners for Education.

Today we have come up with a theme/Topic that says “How are the committees (PTA and SMC), have continued to support learning in schools now that schools are fully re-opened”. And my dear listener allow me to tell you that two weeks ago I was here by myself in this very seat and we talked about a number of issues but before I continue with those issues, allow me to inform you that I have hosted two people in the studios, a woman and a man and without taking much time, let me allow them to say hello to you and introduce their names and where they come from. Let me begin with the mother here and they say that ladies first.

Panelist One: All the listeners of Mwoya gwa Busoga- I great you in the name of Jesus. Mr. Balondemu thank you so much because today we are the visitors and just as Mr. Balondemu had told you my name is Robina Talenga the chairperson SMC Namukoge P/S Kaliro district I thank you very much.

Moderator: I welcome you Mrs. Talenga from Namukoge kaliro and all people of Kaliro we send you our voices. Please I do welcome you too Mr. Can you say hello to people, tell them your name, what you and the district where you are coming from.

Panelist Two: Mr. Balondemu Simon thank you for welcoming us here in the studios of Busoga one FM- Omwoyo gwa Busoga as we have come here to talk about learning issues for our children and we thank you the organization of Elevate partners for education for sponsoring this program and my name is Paul Musulo Lwawayo and I am the chairperson PTA Lambaala P/S in Luuka.

Moderator: You are welcome sir, it means I have hosted big people my dear listeners as you have heard them introduce themselves. Today we are going to discuss issues and are going to talk about their responsibilities in schools allow me to remind you that we are going to talk about How are the committees (PTA and SMC), have continued to support learning in schools now that schools are fully reopened. And without taking much time I want to take you through of what we discussed and learnt the previous time where we hosted Miss. Abenekyo Scovia apparent from Bukabira P/S in Mayuge district and Mr. Mukisa Derick from Bugiri, a teacher from Waluwerer P/S and they talked about was “is learning from home still continuing even when schools were re-opened and which strategy is used to keep what was being done? And for the people who had tuned in then, knew what we were talking about but still let me remind you what we looked at,

  • Those parents are buying charts and learning materials for children at home for them to learn.
  • And they told us that parents should help their children to learn from home by reducing the workload or domestic work when they get back home.
  • They also told us that parents should support their children when doing their homework and told us we parents should check their books the moment we get back home.
  • And so many reasons they told us.

My dear listeners we are talking about How are the committees (PTA you have heard Mr. Paul introducing himself and SMC Mrs Talenga Robina), have continued to support learning in schools now that schools are fully re-opened. And I want to begin with Mrs. Robina Talenga from Namukoge P/S in Kaliro. Two years from the other year when children were not studying but since January this year schools were re-opened, PTA and SMC have done much in the foundations of these schools. Ever since schools were closed, we saw that these committees did a lot during the lockdown they helped children to access learning materials, parents and teachers etc. now that these schools are working, how are you as committees supporting these schools?

My question is what is your role in schools as SMC?

Robina Talenga: Thank you very much Mr. Balondemu and I will again thank Elevate for improving learning in schools. On the question, you asked me just as they call us school management committees, we are the managers in relation with the people we work with. We do monitoring of the works in schools, and the relationship between the teachers, head teacher, parents and the children.

This committee is responsible for lobbying, and observing how materials and things are being used.

Moderator: Now that these are government-aided schools, how do you lobby and what do you lobby?

Robina Talenga: well, though the government provides materials, the children are very many and the materials to use are not enough. Therefore we try to lobby other partners to support us like NGOs to improve learning in Namaukoge we got the organization of Innovation Africa and they supported us with lights and water where our children were crossing the road and beddings to create a good working relationship and to easy the work of teachers sir.

Moderator: Yes we are still listening to your roles as school management.

Robina Talenga: I said we monitor the resources that come in the school and we see that the school develops in performance, appearance and we are the relations persons to other organizations and it’s our work to connect the school and parents with other leaders to create a good working environment to develop in learning.

Moderator: so those are your main roles?

Robina Talenga: Yes those are our major roles.

Moderator: Now among those roles, how have you come supporting children in this period because we real saw you supporting them when schools were closed. Now how are you supporting them to improve learning in Namukoge?

Robina Talenga: Thank Mr. Balondemu, the beginning has not been easy after schools were closed but we have come trying after a certain time by encouraging parents to bring back their children to schools and we also encourage them to get scholastic materials for their children such that schools can perform well. And we try to speak on behalf of the schools whenever we get a chance.

Moderator: At that very point, I have got a chance to move in different schools but children have a challenge in having the scholastic materials, how have you encouraged parents to get those things for children because this is still a challenge?

Robina Talenga: Mr. Balondemu you are very right it’s still a challenge because the economy have gone mad, there is a lot of hunger and everything the prices are very high. But though the situation is like that, we remain talking to people using the opportunities given to us during burial functions and other big gatherings, calling for parents meetings at schools and changing people’s attitudes to encourage their children to remain studying. And parents remain bringing those materials at school, and secondly is to create a good working relationship between the head teacher and his teachers, and the children and we come up with presents or techniques of motivating people to improve learning through giving certificates like other members who seem to have performed well.

Moderator: You mean in your school you motivate others by giving them certificates on your committees at the end of year?

Robina Talenga: Yes we give the best performers on our committee.

Moderator: Who funds that?

Robina Talenga: We do look for funds and look for money as a committee and we appreciate them like the teachers and the children.

Moderator: And I was going to ask you that the relationship between the teachers and the parents in some schools has not been good. Now as a committee of SMC how have you strengthened that relationship in many schools parents want to fight with teachers vise vasa.

Robina Talenga: In that manner, we have worked with parents through the PTA because they are the ones responsible for them.

Moderator: do you mean that as SMC you relate with the PTA?

Robina Talenga: We extremely work together and with us we do manage the resources and monitor and PTA is the owner of parents.

Moderator: Ohoo.. I love how you’re explaining these issues because I have not been differentiating them and please go on mama.

Robina Talenga: And still, we have to see that a teacher has to eat and the child to enable him/her to learn very well.

Moderator: Ye.. But there are very many children in many of our UPE schools children are not eating from the time they entered school in the morning up to when a child leaves school in the evening.

Robina Talenga: True but for we discovered that children have to eat and a hungry child cannot learn likewise a hungry teacher cannot teach a child Mr. Balondemu.

Moderator: Therefore, parents providing meals to their children is one of the reasons for improved learning in your place.

Robina Talenga: Yes it is one thing that is improving learning from our place Namaukoge

Moderator: In one minute tell me how you are doing because in many schools children are not eating,

Robina Talenga: For us, we stopped telling people to bring maize and firewood but we seat and agree on a certain amount by parents though others fail to respond but the biggest percentage of parents bring in Namukoge P/S.

Moderator: Okay thank you Mrs. Robina Talenga from Namukoge for the sweetest discussion we have had and I want to tell you that so many people are tuned in I can see very many calls people calling now but it’s not yet time for calls my dear listener but we love you so much. Who is the head teacher of that school?

Robina Talenga: Our head teacher is Mr. Manka Francis.

Moderator: Okay let me get to the chairperson PTA Mr. Lwawayo Musulo Paul from Lambala P/S Luuka. Mr. I am glad seeing you again.

Paul Musulo: You are welcome sir.

Moderator: With me I am able to see you but the rest are listening to you. Mr.Musulo Paul the chairperson PTA as you introduced yourself I very well know that the PTAs are the foundation of the schools and the days I started learning I have seen them exist.

Paul Musulo: Very true

Moderator: These committees have played a big role in supporting schools’ grow, increasing the number population of the schools, developing etc and at the same time we have seen these committees failing schools to develop. Now with you what are the core roles of PTA in a school just like we have heard from the SMC?

Paul Musulo: Mr. Balondemu Simon thank you for that question but the initials PTA means Parents Teachers Association meaning “it is an association that units teachers and parents”. And its core role is to;

  1. Unite parents and teachers to work together in educating our children very well. And it has got many roles like
  2. Bringing parents together to support the school and
  • To monitor the use of UPE funds sent by the government and
  1. It also monitors the works of the school like the head teacher and teachers and the smooth flow of lessons in school like they are meant to be.
  2. The same association observes the behavior of teachers and their parents, the working conditions of teachers and the way they are performing. Those are one of the roles of the PTA

Moderator: Mr. Musulo, these roles look to be the same as for the SMC yet you operate in the same school, can you differentiate for me between the two?

Paul Musulo: These committees seem to have similar roles but the main role of the SMC is to manage and to ensure that the activities at school and work are flowing normally.

Moderator: okay if the roles are similar why are these two committees on the same school yet you have got similar roles?

Paul Musulo: They have to emphasize and complement the work of another committee.

Modulator: You mean each committee monitors the works of each other?

Paul Musulo: Well, just as I told you if the other committee fails to fulfill its roles then the other one does it.

Moderator: According to the PTA do you get time and convene or ran a single meeting together?

Paul Musulo: Thank you Sir, those two committees seat at the same time each time there is need; we don’t privately meet as a single committee.

Modulator: Alright, Mrs. Talenga is reacting on something on that very issue.

Robina Talenga: Thank you so much Mr. Balonemu on the issue of those committees just as the PTA chairperson said, is the difference with the PTA is directly elected by parents and the SMC comes from the foundation of the school like the church, mosque

Moderator: Please Paul continue to emphasize your point.

Paul Musulo: True these committees work together to discuss the issues of the school and most of the time we are together.

Moderator: Now as PTA how have you bridged the gap between the parents and the teachers because we have seen teachers fighting with parents and they don’t have a good relationship this one affects the learning process, how have you bridged this gap.

Paul Musulo: we have bridged that gap by calling parents meetings and teachers and they share some of the likely challenges they are facing and giving us feedback on the performance of the children.

Moderator: okay, as PTA how have you supported the learning of children right from January after schools were re-opened?

Paul Musulo: Thank you so much but we have tried so much to encourage teachers to reach on time every day and by encouraging the parents to send their children to school and on time to ensure they cover up the lost time during Covid-19. Our parents have been good as they have sent back children to school and even the teachers come to school on time.

Moderator: These days and I remember few weeks ago we were here with parents and they told us parents are not sending their children back to school and this recent industrial action also pushed back children in the communities, how are you dealing with such parents to improve learning?

Paul Musulo: In Lambala P/S, parents have gone on learning that the only future you can give to a child is education and I see many of the parents have brought their children back to school and I want to introduce to you what shows that parents of lambala P/S have done a great work is having a total population of 901 (409 are Males and 4092).

Moderator: what about teachers?

Paul Musulo: There are 14 teachers on the government pay roll( 06 are Female and 8 are Male) but because of the good working relationship in PTA, we managed to get 04 private teachers to support the existing number which cannot handle that hug number of pupils in school.

Moderator: Thank you so much and I like the way you are updated with those numbers in your brain. Thank you for the great work you are doing over there and I think the teachers and head teachers tuned in right now that’s a very big point because you incorporated private teachers and government teachers to support in the learning of children. Mama Talenga do you have any addition to your fellow panelist’s views to improve learning as PTA and SMC to support learning?

Robina Talenga: Thank you so much Mr. Balondemu and I want to tell you that we are also working because in Namukoge we have got a total population of 1200 pupils and a teaching staff of 21 and 3 none- teaching staff.

Moderatro: wow. It means people are doing great work over that side they have not rested at all. We that you for that.

Robina Talenga: I would like to add on like the listeners should know the composition of the school management committee like I told in the beginning some core members come from the schools foundation body of the school and the district send a representative, the LC3 council send, and the representative of the LC1 of that particular village and the old student of that particular school.

Moderator: What is the composition number of that committee?

Robina Talenga: The committee is composed of 9 members with the head teacher as the secretary and the representative of a teacher.

Moderator: For sure I am seeing that amidst PTA and SMC is a very big issue and it’s the reason why you have come for this program to improve learning in our schools it means without these committees in schools, learning issues are not taken seriously.

I will take you for the short break and after that my dear listener you will be able to reach us through the numbers of 0776999906 and 0757906906 we hear what is happening in your school and how are these committees working in your school to improve learning don’t change the radio.


For sure and wisdom to improve learning resides in each one of us like me Balondemu Simon, my colleagues here, that bodaboda man riding, the cook at school, the mother digging, the shop keeper and the grandmother seated there and in all of us. We would like to hear from you and remember we are talking about “How are the committees (PTA and SMC), have continued to support learning in schools now that schools are fully re-opened”.   And please call on these numbers 0776999906 and 0757906906 and if you are unable to reach us by a call, please visit our social media pages like @elevate partners for education that is Facebook or on Twitter Elevate Ug. Let me pick this caller halloo.

Caller One: Michael from Bududa, I am happy with this people who have come because they have helped us a lot but I just want to know when teachers went back they asked money for PTA and please inform the UNATO people to increase salary for teachers in government.

Moderator: Thank you for calling Michael from Bududa, I think you have picked what he said.

Caller Two: My name is Alex from Lwanika Mayuge district.

Moderator: Yes Alex, comment on the issues presented

Caller Two: those PTA and SMCs have not helped us because films have taken over our children.

Moderator: how do you want these committees to help you?

Caller Two: They said they work together with the LCs and let them help us to mobilize parents to get their children to school but this school of Lwanika modern is doing great work in children.

Moderator: Alex, I would like you to use this opportunity to talk to the listening parents.

Caller Two: Thank you and I want to appeal to all parent though we are close to the lake and the forest let us use this chance to take our children back to school because with time, the government is going to look for educated people to work on the lake and in the forests.

Moderator: Alright, thank you Alex for encouraging others like that. Let me pick another caller. Hallo

Caller Three: I am Yona from Nawankole Mpungwe Mayuge, I would like to thank the panelists you brought in today for elaborately explaining very well those issues but let those people share more with other committees in different schools because they are very weak. This will help them have a common voice.

Moderator: thank you Mr. Yona let hear from Mama Robina as you have heard from Mr. Yona and the other caller who talked about the films then I will pick other callers.

Robina Talenga: Thank you Mr. Yona from Nawankole and the rest in that thinking but I am appealing to those particular committees to perform their duties and if they don’t know what to do, they will be taken for induction and we don’t know whom we can real reach you but the leaders can support you very well.

Moderator: Thank you, Mr. Musulo from Lambala P/S you have heard Mr. Yona saying that on your side, things are moving very well compared to their side how you can help him.

Paul Musulo: I am sure that each SMC has got a local council leader just lke mama Robina told us they can be of good use.

Caller Four: My name is Amuza Nabangi your friend from Busala Luuka.

Moderator: Yes Hamuza send my sincere regards to all my friends there.

Caller Four: I want to appreciate those people for clearly explaining the great issues and also appreciating you for moderating the program very well.

Moderator: Thank you Mr. Nabangi Hamuza and all my friends I will come and eat the chicken. Hallo online.

Caller Five: My name is Eng. Isaac Kalinaki from Nmaulikya Buzaya Kamuli

Moderator: Thank you for calling and please supplement on the issues discussed.

Caller Five: Thank you for bringing that topic and its very important but according to what I have heard, I think those committees have done us a disservice because I am very sure a teacher can go to school at 10.am and can take a round two weeks without teaching,

Moderator: Eng, which ideas can you give to the committees in your area?

Caller five: The committees from these schools are week because the academic standards of Buzaya is low and I am appealing to the parents to relate well with the teacher because formally teachers were given little money but we could see the impact of education, unlike these days when they are given much and they are not teaching.

Moderator: Thank you so much I believe people from that side of Namulikya have heard and I hope the panelists here will continue to advise them. Let me get another caller. Hello

Caller Six: My name is Wanume Government in Bugweri on the highway to Mbale.

Moderator: Thank you for calling sir,

Caller six: I would like to advise on the foundation bodies for the managers of the school, for example in case the church is around, what I know among members is there are people with great ideas not around the same locality. Secondly, if you are the chairperson of the SMC it means you’re the manager of the school, I do propose the chairperson should always first meet with the head teacher before the actual meeting.

Moderator: Thank you Mr. Wanume, Robina can you respond to the issues of Mr. Wanume from Namalemba Bugweri.

Robina Talenga: Thank you Mr. Wanume, I want to tell him how those committees are selected because they select people from different localities I am from Church but as a parent, he should do something as a Ugandan.

Caller Seven: Hello, my name is Timu from Irundu I want to appreciate your services and we are very grateful.

Moderator: Thank you for appreciating our services.

Caller Eight: My name is Sheik Yakubu from Namaulesa and thank you for that topic.

Moderator: Thank you Sheik Yakubu gives your suggestions on the topic.

Caller Eight: First of all the SMC is consisting of the OB/ OG because they encourage the learners and they should know that they are the managers of the school but not the head teachers so they should not be timid when running the school. They should elect wisdom from the community to support the learning of children in schools.

Moderator: Thank you sheik Yakubu, let me only get one caller because time is not on our side.

Hello, your name and where you are calling form?

Caller Nine: My name is Mutebi Tito from Buvuma district

Moderator: You are welcome Mutebi and you are left with 30 seconds to use them well.

Caller Nine: Thank you the committee leaders and we should take the concern to tell the parents their responsibilities other than lowering the standard of living.

Moderator: Thank you very much Mr. Mutebi from Buvuma, My bosses I would like us to use one minute as you tell us your takeaway point and send greetings to two people. Ladies first.

Robina Talenga: Thank you so much Mr. Balondemu and we wide up this program, try to bring up your children well its biblical in Proverbs 12, and pay for their materials.

Moderator: Okay Mama send regards.

Robina Talenga: I send greetings to my head teacher Mr. Maka, parents of Namukoge, my Rev, venerable, and the Busoga Central Bishop and all my children.

Moderator; Mr. Musulo use half a minute.

Paul Musulo: The parents of Lambala should check on your children and reach out to the teachers, I, therefore, send greetings to my lovely HT Mr. Ngonde Yoab, My wife Babirye Ruth and all my children and my pastor glory be to God stay well all.

Moderator: Thank you all and my dear listener, you have heard all the issues discussed and I want to appreciate all callers and elevate partners for education.

The listeners like Denis, Malaki and the school of Buwabe, Bulyansime P/S, staff and all friends. The wisdom to improve learning resides in each one of us. I remain your host Balondemu Simon lets meet next week but one, God bless.