Talk 16: Reflecting On Parents Experiences Of Supporting Their Children To Learn

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Our good listener today I want to welcome you, my name is Nakiirya Brenda Doreen and I work with the organization of Community Concerns Uganda Initiative and we partner together with Elevate partners for Education in improving education.

You will have to forgive us today we have come in un usual time because we normally begin our program from 12:00 – 1:00Pm but due to uncertainties, we have decided to start our program from 1;00-2:PM. We are right on 90.6 Busoaga one FM and I did not come a lone in the studios but together with my friend and I will request her to introduce herself, madam your welcome and I pray for tell our listeners your name, where your coming from and the district your coming from, madam your welcome.

My name is Namaugabo Jane from Luuka district, waibuga sub-county, in Busiro Parish at the village of Nanvunano Kasone.

Moderator: You are welcome madam. And I want to continue thanking our friends Elevate partners for education who have enabled us to fund this program and I thank Busoga one radio too. Last time we had Mr. Balondemu Simon and he talked about how to support lower grade children to keep learning in this lockdown. That was the topic for last time and today we are going to talk about reflecting on how parents are supporting their children to remain engaged with learning under this lockdown. I would like to remind you about some key issues that Simon talked about and he was here with two teachers, one was called Namulondo Justine a teacher from Nakavule P/S and Kanabi Esther from Namayemba P/S. Fine they talked about a good number of issues but I want to remind you on a few key points like;

  • They said that as lower grade teachers, they are engaging a small number of children in their residences like 4-7 children from p.1-p.3.
  • They encouraged parents to reach out to teachers to remain supporting their children thought schools are still closed.
  • And parents to encourage their children to listen to the radio programs together with their children such that children don’t forget what they learnt in this lockdown.
  • They said that parents should build a good relationship with their parents to continue sharing their personal issues. And not forgetting to motivate teachers who handle their children.

Today we are reflecting on what parents have gone through in supporting their children to learn in this lockdown. Just as you have heard our friend here in this program Madam Namugabo Jane please tell us how many children do you have?

Namugabo Jane: I have five children at home.

Moderator: In which classes are they and how many are in p.1 up to p.3?

Namugabo Jane: I have 3 children

Moderator: How many are in upper classes?

Namugabo Jane: I have two, and there is one in S.1, S.2 and p.4

Moderator: Then you said the rest are in lower classes, specifically in which class are they?

Namugabo Jane: The two are in p.3 and one was in top class but he has now grown up.

Moderator: well, you will decide when finally schools re-open and how have you been supporting those children in engaging them to learn in this period of the lockdown?

Namugabo Jane: Those other children in upper classes have been supporting the little ones with work after we are done our domestic work then they are trained in English lessons and the ABC work.

Moderator: Is there any other way they have been engaged in this lockdown?

Namugabo Jane: Yes I have a teacher in the name of Mr. Balisa Moses who comes home to train though the number of children is still small and they don’t get much from because children despise themselves looking like they are not at school.

Moderator: Who is Mr. Balisa, is he any other village person or teacher?

Namugabo Jane: Mr. Balias is a primary teacher from Busiro P/S.

Moderator: Are you the one who approached him to coma and handle those children or he came by himself?

Namugabo Jane: Yes I am the one who approached him to come and engage my children from home.

Moderator: At what time does he engage them?

Namugabo Jane: from every evening hours after we are done with our work and when is also done with his- he comes around and engages them for not many hours.

Moderator: That is good but you said you have children in upper classes like S.1 and 2, how are you handling them to continue engaging them to learn?

Namugabo Jane: with those ones, I do ensure everyone has got books to read and not leaving them to play around the whole day and when they are reading, I am mindful that I don’t offer them domestic work.

Moderator: At what time do they engage themselves in revising their books?

Namugabo Jane: Yes just as I said they read their books in the evening hours after they are done with their domestic work as they get their rest.

Moderator: You said that the elder children support the young ones in lower classes which is so good and still some parents say they listen together with their children.

Namugabo Jane: Yes it very true we tune and listen to those lessons with the children.

Moderator: when they are listening to those lessons, do they listen alone or with you?

Namugabo Jane: We tune in from 8:00 when we are all seated in the sitting room we do listen.

Moderator: There are study materials which the government provided when the lockdown has just started, did you get a chance to receive them?

Namugabo Jane: In the first lockdown we received like those ones in p.4, and the rest but the second distribution we did not get any chance. Because when I asked the LC1 chairman told me that he did not get them.

Moderator: Did you consult the other teacher [Mr. Balisa] to support the children in some areas where they did not understand?

Namugabo Jane: Formally, the teacher used to support them before getting some personal problems that made him stop coming.

Moderator:  Leaving a part the household members, which other people beside them have been supporting children to keep engaged in this period of the lock down?

Namugabo Jane: Some outside people do not take this issue of the radio lessons very important, therefore I cannot genuinely say that so and so have helped.

Moderator: But you talked of the teacher who used to come and support your children

Namugabo Jane: He used to come sometime as I said before.

Moderator: Yes at least we can see that the teacher used to come over from outside to support the children, what about the school because we have heard many parents saying they get reading materials from schools and for your case have you taken any concern to reach the school for support?

Namugabo Jane: The teacher used to come with some text books and he was taking them through and after that he used to go back with them.

Moderator: We here that some neighbors Without radios and yet their children want to listen to those radio lessons visit the neighbors homes for the lessons, have also received such children coming to your homes for those lessons?

Namugabo Jane: They don’t come occasionally but my children call them sometimes because they are their friends.

Moderator:  I know that in this period of school closures there has been a lot of challenges with children since, what kind of challenges have you faced in this period?

Namugabo Jane: True, children have gone astray and many have gone into sugarcane cutting though I do not allow mine and when it comes to girls, it’s very worse however much they don’t go for sugarcane cutting but they leave jericans at the water sources and disappear with boys.

Moderator: Is there any other challenges you have faced besides what you have talked about and what advise can you give other parents listening to us now to prevent children from sugarcane cutting?

Namugabo Jane: They need to set a good relationship with their children and if they are cautioning them, they need to counsel them with care to ensure that they share much with them.

Moderator: There are parents who say that keeping safe a girl child is becoming very hard, what is your suggestion over that/

Namugabo Jane: It is the hardest thing ever in this period because if a parent is not a friend and lacks care then it will be hard.

Moderator: If there parents who normally say their children have joined bad peer groups in this period, how about that?

Namugabo Jane: If I get to know that my child has joined such a group, I prevent him/her from such.

Moderator: Sometime you talked about the teacher who used to come home to support the children, now how can you encourage other parents to link up with teachers most especially those ones who haven’t reached them at schools or places of residence/

Namugabo Jane: What brings that is fear of some parents but they should create a good relationship with their teachers and always talk to them, share the challenges their children are facing they will fix it up.

Moderator: What have learnt from this lockdown and school closures before they are open up.

Namugabo Jane: If schools are re-opened we parents should provide enough scholastic materials, create a good relationship with their children give good care so that we can fully call the children. Because by the time I sent this child to school I was the first teacher we don’t want people to say that they are spoilt and if they are even teachers cannot manage them.

Moderator: Is there any other lesson learnt?

Namugabo Jane: Secondly, we need to take care of the children because illiteracy is very painful at an elderly stage where by one would not love to share his/her secrets but due to illiteracy has to ask another person for help in confidential matters.

Moderator: Parents are encouraged to build a good relationship but do you think it’s very important for parents to have that relationship and can it prevent them from going for sugarcane cutting and those other bad peer groups?

Namugabo Jane: well, it depends on which type of child does a parent have because there are children who are bad mannered and parents can prevent them from those bad behaviors and begin assigning them domestic work and garden work, rather than going for those other odd jobs.

Moderator: We may not only focus on the sugarcane cutters but even those children selling small items in baskets, tomatoes etc.

Namugabo Jane: Very true as a parent sends this child with all, at what time is this child expected to get back home? It means by the time he/she has gone for selling, she will get a good helper which in the long run will result into other issues. Parents should look for money by themselves.

Moderator: You mean parents should create enough time for their children to learn or design a time table according to their subjects and keep engaged because two years are many without going to school.

Alright I want to take you into the break and I am encouraging you to prepare talking to us or give your child an opportunity to share with us and tell us what you have gone through in this period of the lockdown. You will use these numbers 0757906906/0776999906 and share with us.

Moderator: Welcome back from the break and we are still talking about reflecting on how parents are supporting their children to remain engaged with learning under this lockdown and I want to repeat our studio numbers which are; 0757906906/0776999906.

Heloo thank you for calling sir.

Caller 1: Madam Brenda please I will not tell you my name and where I am calling from but most of the private teachers have turned their residences into schools and children are properly learning from morning to lunch time may be that statement your using that children are not learning is not right may be it is in other areas but for our side all children are engaged

Moderator: Hello thank you for calling madam, please tell us your name.

Caller 2: I am Sumin Nankwanga and I am 8 years old my parent trains me from home and his name is Kalevu Hakim.

Moderator: In which school do you go too?

Caller 2: Golofa P/S in Dolwe

Moderator: Thank you for calling little girl. And let me pick another caller.

Caller 3:  My name is Ouma Constant.

Moderator: Yes Mr Ouma what have you gone through to continue supporting your children in this lockdown/

Caller 3:  I am training my children from home.

Moderator: In which classes are your children in?

Caller 3:  In P.5, P.6 and P.1

Moderator: Which advise can you give to other parents?

Caller 3: I encourage them to do private coaching in their villages and those illiterate parents can get other people to support them.

Caller 4:  My name is Bonny from Sagit and I am engaging my children from home and I give them time to read their books.

Moderator: Thank you so much Bonny from Sagit. And you have heard many parents supporting their children from home. Madam Namugabo you have heard the other parent saying private teachers are engaging them but I think it is not only private teachers alone but even government teachers are doing so; even the teacher who was supporting your children is from a government school.

In this period there are parents who are motivating their children with money, saying that if a child happens to read his/her books or meat the teacher for studies they are appreciated. What is your view over that?

Namugabo Jane: do you mean if there is no money on that day a child will not study? It is required to liaise with the teacher but not giving the child money.

Moderator: You mean if the money is not there, therefore the child will not attend lessons, okay I want to remind our listeners our lines are open and are 0757906906/0776999906.

Please as you call tells us your name and where you’re coming from.

Caller 5: My name is Dan from Nkolongo

Moderator: Yes Dan tells us how you are managing your children and what have you gone through while supporting your children to continue learning?

Caller 5:  I engage my children from home because I bought learning materials for lower classes as I have children in baby class, p.2 and p.3.

Moderator: So what lessons can you learn in this period before schools are re-opened?

Caller 5:  I am going to search for a better school for my children to study from.

Caller 6: My name is Maganda Binasali from Iganga district Bulamagi sub-county Kinawanswa Village, thanks for your services.

Moderator: Mr. Maganda what have you gone through with the children in this period?

Caller 6: I request the president open up schools because men are disturbing our daughters and I bought books for my children to keep learning from home.

Moderator: what lessons can you learn in this period before schools are re-opened?

Moderator on caller 7: Hello please tells us your name and where you’re calling from?

Caller 7: Hello my name is Nabisubi Jesica thank you for serving.

Moderator: please share with us how you’re managing your children in this period.

Caller 7: I got someone who engages them from home.

Moderator: Is that someone a teacher or?

Caller 7: Yes he is a teacher who comes home and I give him some token of appreciation.

Moderator: Now as a parent how are you supporting them?

Caller 7: I do train them in some other domestic work balancing it with the time they have to be in their books.

Moderator: Madam Namugabo parents are telling us that they have bought books for their children to learn but still parents who have no abilities to buy those books and some are illiterate just as you sited your personal example but your working hard to support your children to access education. What can we do with those likes of parents?

Namugabo Jane: The only way to go is to become friends with teachers to continue supporting those children because on every village there is a teacher.

Moderator: Okay, let us pick another caller and we continue sharing,


Caller 8: My name is Etianga from Kalagala Bukaboli Mayuge district.

Moderator: Sir in which ways have you gone through in supporting your children?

Caller 8: I have teachers near me who engage them including myself through using the little knowledge I have.

Moderator: Thank you caller and I still want to remind you our studio numbers as 0757906906/0776999906.

Caller 9: My name is Kikandwa Rose from Buvulunguti and with me I do personal engagement with my children when am at home because I have no money to buy those books and I have children in p.1, Baby class and p.4.

Moderator: Apart from that, is there any other way you’re trying to engage them?

Caller 9: Yes, I got a teacher in the names of Mugoda who engages them in the evening hours after work.

Caller 10: My name is Nadoi Hakim from Kamuli but right now calling from Nabitende Banada here at the saloon.

Moderator: sorry we have lost him. Let us pick another caller.

Caller11: My name is Sula from Kaliro Nansololo.

Moderator: Sula thank you for calling but how are you helping your children to continue learning?

Caller10: I want to tell you that you can hardly find a child giving time to their parents in the whole sub-county that they are learning or having private coaching.

Moderator: Now with you how are tell us how your engaging your own children/

Caller10: I have got no children and I am a teacher?

Moderator: Now as a teacher, how are you helping the community children?

Caller10: There is no way I can help children because they are inaccessible since many almost of them go for sugarcane cutting and their parents have got no clear relationship with us. So there is no way I can get those children without parents support yet in our community we are many teachers and others teach from different districts and places but they are not used.

Teachers are going to suffer because the standard is lost all categories of children in sugarcane cutting.

Moderator: Madam Namugabo you have heard that teacher, what is your take?

Namugabo Jane: That is a case for parents if you don’t look for the viecheal, it won’t look for you. Do they expect teachers searching for their children because parents are not minding? It is the reason why that teacher is talking like that.

Moderator: still there are teachers who told us that teachers can look for children since they have a serving heart.

Namugabo Jane: it is true teachers have a serving heart but is the parent who is meant to look for the teacher on behalf of the child but not the child him/herself.

Caller 11: My name is Simon from Buyende and I am a student.

Moderator: in which class are you?

Caller 11: S.1 but I am facing a challenge of making research and when I tried to consult, they told me to get a smart phone or computer which I shared it with my father but up to now my father is looking for the smart phone.

Moderator: isn’t there any other way a part from using smart phone?

Caller11: I got some text books which I am using.

Caller 12: My name is Mutekanga Timothy from Busiro Luuka

Caller13: My name is Sanoni from Kikunu

Moderator: How are you handling supporting your children to continue learning in this period?

Caller 13: With me I use different techniques and other people who are better than me in handling children and by the end of the lockdown, I belive my children will be a step ahead.

Moderator: Thank you all for calling us and in a special way I want to thank those parents who have given their children to call us and you have heard parents sharing including this one in the studios of how they are engaging their children to learn in this period through buying books etc.

Madam Namaugabo what message can you give those parents and children as we are almost winding up this program.

Namugabo Jane: My message is to encourage my fellow parents to work together as a wife and a husband to help children to learn and if children don’t listen to us they will lose. Let girls and boys calm down and stop relationships, women should not take full control of the children and let also mothers have self control.

The most important thing is to keep a good relationship with their children most especially girls, take care of their needs like buying them pads, knickers etc.

Moderator: what is your last key message as we come to the conclusion of this show?

Namugabo Jane: I am reminding all my fellow parents to be mindful about children and avoid a bad language before children.

Moderator: Please send greetings to two people.

Namugabo:  I send regards to my immediate neighbor Nambi Ali to be mindful about the girls you have because they are going astray, my husband and mama perina whom I left the children with.

Moderator: Sometimes you see that parents are not providing enough materials to their children which are propelling them to enter premature relationships with boys. We have learnt that parents should get close to teachers to continue supporting them when they are still home. I want to continue thanking parents, head teachers and all stake holders in schools and Elevate partners for education for funding this program. Well, today we have had our program at Un usual time but we hope next weekend we shall have it at our usual time from 12:00-1:00pm

I want to thank my parents at Magamaga TC and all staff of Community Concerns Uganda Intiaves wishing you ahapyy independence day to every one

Hope to meet again next Saturday.