Talk 13: Situation In Schools Community

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Okay my dear loving listener I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to this program of Elevate Partners for Education and as usual, we are back for our second round of the program and to continue like we used to run with this.

I want to welcome all districts in Busoga sub-region most especially Iganga district, Bugweri distric, Luuka, Mayuge, Kaliro and Bugiri why its because Elevate has put much emphasis in those districts. I am your servant and going to moderate this program from 12: 00- 1: 00pm a full hour. My name is Balondemu Simon and I work with global integrated skills training centre in short (GIST) partnering with Elevate partners for Education whom we are moving with up to today.

I want to appreciate these friends who came with me in the studios who came to participate in today’s program. On my left I have a gentleman and on my right still there is a gentleman  I will allow them to introduce themselves, by telling us their name, where they are coming from, school name, title, sub-county and the district and we continue. Let me welcome the gentleman on my left.

Panelist: I want to thank you sir moderator brother Simon Balondemu, I want to thank the management of this radio Busoga one, I want to thank all our listeners tuned and listening to us. I want to say that I am today blessed that I was selected to be one of them who came to air out my views to people through this radio. I want to appreciate the organization of Elevate who I identified me among all people in Busoga to come and say something about education. My name is Panelist 1 peter from Butaba Trading Center and I am the head teacher of Kalalu primary school is found in Buyanga sub-county, in Bugweri district. I welcome all of you and most especially our good parents and whoever is tuned in listen to us attentively for the good views about the educational issues to be discussed and presented to you in this program, thank you sir moderator.

Moderator: Alright, I would like to thank you and still welcome you Mr. Panelist 1 peter from Kalalu p/s, thank you for coming. Let me invite in another guest who is a head of school from my right hand side, please sir introduce yourself to the listeners and we proceed with the program.

Panalist: Thank you very much brother Simon,

Moderator: yes sir.

Panalist: My name is Moses Eriot Mugobolo, from Kaliro Bulamoji and I am the head teacher Buyinda P/S, I want to convey my appreciation to you Brother Simon together with the organization of Elevate that identified me to come here at Busoga one share views concerning education in our nation. I want to thank Elevate and the entire staff together with the managers for Busoga one for having accepted us to this radio and we enlighten people in Busoga and Uganda the issues concerning education.

Moderator: Okay thank you, I already told you that am Balondemu Simon moderating this program up to its end. I want to appreciate our partners Elevate who are leading this program and more especially the government of Japan who funds and enable us to always come here and do some work. Elevate works to improve education using locally available solutions in Busoga. And why did we come up with this type of program, it was reported that in the whole of Busoga sub-region- had ranked high in child school drop outs, parents are less concerned about their children’s educational status and many other issues. Therefore, Elevate took it upon her to establish these radio talk shows, have issues discussed because many children had abandoned schools and gone in for sugarcane cutting and parents were less concern, stone quarrelling and some of them into Gold mining like children in Bugiri, and Namayingo because they discovered that they can get quick money and in other areas you would find children currying buckets and baskets of sweat bananas, pancakes, vegetables etc. This is the reason why we came up out today with our theme, the education situation in our school communities and that where we want to have our discussions from. However, before we focus on our theme, I would like to remind that in between the month of August to December 2020 we had these programs running here and many issues/topics were discussed, we heard your experiences, comments and ideas from our listeners and parents. And among the issues discussed was;

  • We talked about children’s behaviors as schools remain closed, you very well know that it’s now 18 month ever since the government closed schools head teachers you know this issue very well because your schools are closed that is why we talked about the behaviors of children while still home.
  • We also talked child labour crises in Busoga sub-region.
  • We discussed about how have we supported learners at all levels from nursery to higher institution of learning and it’s what we call remote learning until when the government shall re-open schools. And we got so many reactions from the parents who called and other listeners.
  • We also looked focused on how can candidates get back to schools because by the time we started these programs, candidate classes had not yet reported back to schools to finalize their exams in October.
  • We also looked at the communication between the school leaders like you head teachers, parents, teachers and other stake holders.
  • The other issue we also looked was the responsibilities and roles done by other stake holders and these ones we mean the teachers, head teachers, SMC, PTA and parents. In doing so, we got a lot of comments and experiences that is why we have come back for our second phase to ensure that this program runs by the time the government re-opens schools, we believe something would have been done to help Uganda and more especially in Busoga to see that we revamp the educational standards and be able to produce responsible citizens coming from Busoga.

Gentlemen, I would like us to discuss about the education situation in our communities. And you know it very well that from the month of June schools were again closed for the second time that is why I am asking, how is the learning situation in your school communities? Beginning with Mr. Panelist 1 peter from kalalu Bugweri.

Panelist 1 peter: Thank you sir programmer, just as I said that I am blessed among the few for having come to talk about educational issues in Busoga on this radio today and I want to inform our listeners that education these days in kalalu p/s and in particular Bugweri district. After the breakup of this pandemic and the president closing schools last year in March,

Moderator: with that we are all very well aware.

Panelist 1 peter: The president addressed the nation on the 18th with a directive of closing schools on the 20thMarch 2020, though he re-opened schools on the 15th October last year, we started with the p.7 class and he slowly re-opened p.6, p.4 and p.5 as he was preparing to re-open p.1-p.3, then the second wave of COVID-19 strake. At least there was an improvement in Bugweri because we had started registering a good number of first grades which we had not experienced before.

Moderator: okay Mr. Panelist 1 I would like to know learning situation and how you are managing education/ learning in your school?

Panelist 1 peter: I would like to let you know programmer that if you are to improve education in the community, you need to consider a good relationship between you and your fellow work mates the teachers. If that thing is not there, hardships normally happen and the good relationship between you and your parents i.e the school management committee your bosses. And with me in kalalu i agreed with some of my teachers (4 of them), together with the SMC with support from the LC1, where children come at school in small groups to pick learning materials from the library because they know the gazette days in a week when we are meant to be there.

Moderator: You said you’re working together with the SMC, is there any way they are supporting you to distribute those learning materials to children apart from the small groups of children who come to pick the learning materials?

Panelist 1 peter: The management committee mobilizes children through their parents on the agreed days to come to school and receive those learning materials after their period of using those books elapses, they return them and another group picks then the present teachers also come to school in shifts.

Moderator: How many teachers do you have?

Panelist 1 peter: We are 13 including me.

Moderator: Among the 13 teachers, how many are fully engaged in this exercise?

Panelist 1 peter: I have 3 teachers ie. Wahala Francis class head P.7, DOS Mr. Menya Charles and wafula Rutu with Mukose Daniel who are fully at school.

Moderator: Apart from children coming in groups to pick materials, how are you handling education in your community because I believe there are a good number of children who did not come from other distant places then how have you helped them?

Panelist 1 peter: Moderator, there is what they call a blessing in disguise,

Moderator: How?

Panelist 1 peter: If any one dies in the community, I use that opportunity to speak and encourage parents to keep well their children schools will be open and to inform them of not letting their children any how visit their relatives to avoid other related problems.

By encouraging parents to let their children read books when they are done with their domestic work.

Moderator: Okay I have two things I want to learn from you as we have come watching over TV and hearing from the radios that teachers have been and other still undergoing vaccination process of COVID-19 how many of your teachers have received the jab?

Panelist 1 peter: Moderator, I would like to inform you that when those vaccines were brought in, many us had the misconceptions that those vaccines had a lot effects and kills and convincing one to go for vaccination, it wasn’t an easy case but I want to tell you that in kalalu many teachers were afraid of being vaccinated but when I sat with them and we had a discussion, they all accepted and I managed to take the 12 for vaccination in Busesa Health center iv  because one wasn’t a round at the moment but he later he also  received his jab from Kamuli and we are all waiting for our second Jab on the 17th Nov 2021.

Moderator: Okay we shall continue with our discussion because we are still looking at the education situations in our school communities as schools remain closed and I want to switch to Mr. Panelist 2 Eriot from Buyinda p/s, please welcome for the second time and please tell us how things are moving over that side.

Panelist 2:  Things are not well.

Moderator: Tell us why things are not moving on well with much emphasis on the education situation in your school community.

Panelist 2: Listeners, I already my name and I am the head teacher Buyinda p/s in Kaliro. Bother Simon you hinted on the point of education in kaliro and Buyinda as a school. I don’t want to lie to this nation but only the truth is the issues of are not moving on well ever since the president closed the schools.

Moderator: with that everyone is aware that schools are still closed.

Panelist 2: Very many children are children are back in their villages and the government sent us study materials and when we were closing schools; we gave out books to children but as you know most of our children need close supervision and yet some of our parents are illiterate, now studying in this period depends on their parent’s abilities to support them to learn.

However, I want to say that though things are not good we are trying our level best as teachers not only in mu school Buyinda but as Kaliro district education department lead by the DEO Mr. Kamaga Edward has to tried to mobiles us and letting us be at schools in this period as leaders and we over see the management of the schools and how to see that we can support children in the communities.

Moderator: Are you always at school?

Panelist 2: Brother Simon I want to let you know that even yesterday I was there.

Moderator: Do people and children know I mean parents and children you schedule at school and turn up to pick the study materials?

Panelist 2: I am always there from 9:00am to 1:00PM.

Moderator: When those children turn up to school, what do they real come to do?

Panelist 2: As I said before, teachers present help them to go the numbers and some exercise in those text books and I want to appreciate teachers near the school like my DOS Mr. Kapata and Mr.Mafumo and they have been very instrumental in helping children.

Moderator:  I hear some teachers are conducting home visits, how have you handled this issue?

Panelist 2: We have handled it well but though with challenges that most of my teachers are coming from far like Soroti, Kamuli, Iganga who left after the schools were closed and I remained with few teachers.

Moderator: He invites in Panelist 1 peter.

Panelist 1: I want to thank my brother from Kaliro, and in addition to conducting home visits in this era where male teachers can visit mature girls it’s a little hard in other areas, for one I do not support it with mature upper primary girls. With me I would resort to my strategy of inviting children to school from 9: 00am -4:00pm.

Moderator: But if the entire school responds on a particular day, won’t you have revoked the rules of the government?

Panelist 1: In kalalu by the time schools were announced to close, we grouped children according to their location and villages.

Moderator: How many did you consider per group?

Panelist 1: In each group we considered 50 children and they seem to be many but they cannot all appear at school at the same time, you find that at least 20 of them can respond because some of them lost interest in learning.

Moderator: I want to let Mr. Mugobolo to finish his submission as we try summaries.

Panelist 2: Well, I want to appreciate my brother from Bugweri and respect his view of not accepting teachers to make home visits, but to me in my school Buyinda and Kaliro at large, we all know that some time back teachers had a good working relationship with their children and whenever a teacher could visit a child, it was strengthening the relationship too with the parents.

But in Buyinda parents are so cordial, parents want teachers to visit their homes and in the same way I want to appreciate Chairman PTA Mr. Kabagambe Samuel and SMC chairman Mr. Fred Kabakubya who have done a wonderful work of uniting teachers and parents. Therefore I want to say that both versions work i.e the one for my brother from Bugweri and mine.

Moderator: So what is your emphasis on the two versions to the parents and other fellow head teachers listening to us right now?

Panelist 2: I want to emphasis that head teachers and all people in the education department should encourage teachers to make home visits to support children because parents don’t normally attend school meetings and if a teacher happens to visit a child’s home, he/she can give the information about a particular child in that household.

Moderator: Alright in the studios I have Panelist 1 peter head teacher from Kalalu p/s in Bugweri and Panelist 2 Eriot from Buyinda P/S Kaliro. I have learnt one thing from my panelists that each of them has a different version of how to support children during this remote learning and all their versions work to improve learning. For that reason I want to thank you for listening to us and please allow us to go in for the short break we will get back.

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Moderator: Wisdom to improve learning resides in us and as I earlier informed you of my panelists, we are still continuing and welcoming you again with much emphasis on to days’ topic of the education situation in our school communities.

I will now my lines open and we hear from you – what is your view on the education situation as a parent, child care or an elder who supports a child by not letting our children stay without engaging them. Therefore, our studio numbers are 0776999906 or 0757906906 call and you share with us.

Moderator: Hellooo sir/Madam;

Caller 1:  My name is Kagoya Ruth from Mayuge;

Moderator: Your network is not stable unfortunately we cannot hear you please try again lets us pick another caller.

Caller 2: Hello my name is Mukisa Lukuman from Nkondo Buyende district.

Moderator: what is your view or take about education situation Mr. Mukisa.

Mukisa: I want to appreciate the head teachers for what they are talking about but I don’t recommend children going to school apart from when they go to pick materials. I want to suggest that let teachers make home visits just like I did mine.

Moderator: Are you a head teacher or, please can share with us how you’re doing it?

Mukisa: I am a school director in a school called ALIFATIHA and I have directed all my teachers to make home visits to all my school learners.

Moderator: Gentlemen you have heard that caller Mukisa from Buyende district, Mr. Panelist 1 what is your submission over his idea?

Panelist 1: Thank you programmer and I want to thank listeners but in response to Mr Mukisa’s point, I told you that it depends on the person handling children at school but still children can come for corrections if they are finding difficulties in some exercise in the study materials.

Moderator: I want to appreciate Mr Mugema Jessy for the supplement via the text message and he also our PD teacher from Namagonji p/s in Bugiri thanks for tuning in and let us get another caller on line.

Hello;

Caller 3: Batwaula Alex from Buyende.

Moderator: People of Buyende thank you for listening to us and tuning in always.

Caller 3: Where the challenge is some schools did not get those study materials in their library as a one head teacher is stating and another problem is lack of a good working relationship between the teachers and the parents were teachers chase children over small contributions.

Moderator: Mr. Batwaula, we are talking about the education situation in this period as schools remain closed, how have you supported your children to access education?

Batwaula Alex: You told us the other season that children should learn from the TV and radios but our solar panales are spoilt, no TV and our children are not benefiting so we are just hanging.

Moderator: Are meaning that other parents should remain hanging with their children too?

Batwaula Alex: No those with gadgets should engage their children to access learning but for us we are unfortunate this side.

Caller 4: My name is Machaps from Buna South in Mayuge.[ He wasn’t ready to share]

Caller 5: My name is Mumanyi Ibrahim from Iganga, said that ideas are not bad but its functionalities.

Moderator: Mr. Mugobolo please say something about those callers.

Panelist 2: I want to appreciate all the listeners and the callers who have agreed together with that it is very important to give children text books/study materials to keep themselves learning and incase they find any challenge to get back to their teachers. I want to request that teachers, head teachers and SMC to continue with these arrangements until schools shall be re-opened.

Moderator: I want to appreciate Mr. Mulowoza Agrey from Busiro Muslim P/S in luuka who has sent in a text message with a comment that let the gov’t open schools because girls are more becoming pregnant. Yes this is a big point to note.

Well, Mr. Panelist 1i I request that you give us your take away point on what we have discussed in summary because time is not our best allay at the moment.

Panelist 1 peter: Mr. I will not stop thanking you for this great opportunity given to me over educational issues in this nation, to the good listeners you have heard all the ideas from us and the callers the education status has lowered down but we believe one day the president shall open schools but we should get prepared and I want to appeal to all teachers and head teachers to organize and committee their time to supporting your children.

I conclude by thanking the management of this radio for giving us the opportunity to talk about education issues to improve learning and I want to send reagards to my mother that quick recovery, my wives at home, my bosses at the district of Bugweri, and my fellow work mates at Kalalu P/S who have made me what I am and wishing you a happy stay.

Moderator: Thank you very much Mr. Panelist 1 for accepting to come and adding a block to the education system in Busoga. And let me invite Mr. Mugobolo to also summaries in two minutes on todays topic and send some few greetings.

Panelist 2: Thank you so much brother Simon for this great opportunity and still thank Elevate for identifying me to come in this studios to reach out my views to people and I want to send my regards to My DEO Mr. Kamaga Edward, DIS Mr. Muwereza  and my wife Milly and all my parents and friends and I want to appeal to you all to take education serious by not letting children into drug abuse, early and unwanted pregnancies guard the jealously and I remain Panelist 2 Eriot Head master Buyinda P/S.

Moderator: My dear listener still on 90.6 Busoga one all the issues discussed are very important and take them serious as you have heard the two talking about them by strengthening the cordial relationship between the teachers, parents and the children and emphasizing on the home vists.

I want to appreciate Elevate partners for education for always organizing these talk shows and greatly than the government of Japan for funding these programs.

Regards to my family and my wife in particular she is listening, teachers and all PD head teachers from all schools in Busoga thank you so much. I want to inform you that even next week we shall be here discussing about different issues and each time we get an opportunity we shall surface and I want to caution parents to stop engaging children in small businesses which expose them to risky behaviors. And finally I want to say best wishes to Mr. Odeke Emmanuel Elevate staff God bless and lets us catch up next time and same place.

Have a blessed week.

I remain Balondemu Simon.

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