Talk 17: Reflecting On What We Have Learned From Shows

---- Transcript -----

Alright the wisdom to learning resides within us and I take this opportunity to welcome you to this program today. I am your servant Balondemu Simon, today as we are going to move together on this program of Elevate and just as you have heard the advert play that the wisdom to learn resides within us and I want to welcome districts where PD-Positive Deviance is being conducted, districts like Iganga, Bugweri, where we operate, Mayuge, Bugiri, Luuka and Kaliro. And in those districts there is other community based organization which works in those areas. I am Balondemu Simon and I work with the organization of Global Integrated Skills Training Centre found in Iganga on Hajji Munuro road, whereby we work and take care of children wit in and out of school and please bring those children and we train them in vocational skills. And today I want to welcome my partners here in the studios that have come for this Elevates’ program today and I want to welcome without wasting any more time they say ladies first I have a lady and a gentleman. Please madam you’re welcome.

Madam: Thank you very much

Moderator: I will ask you to introduce yourself to the listeners, by telling them your name, where your coming from, what you do and other details.

Madam: Thank you very much moderator Mr. Balondemu for giving me this opportunity to be here at Busoaga Radio. The task you have given me is to introduce myself, my name is Kasowole Florence Kiirya, and I am a head teacher in Izira Baptist P/S in Bugiri district. Izira Baptist p/s is found in Kapyanga Sub-county in Nakakule Parish.

Moderator: Okay your welcome madam from Kapyanga in Nakakule Parish and in the same way I have a gentleman on my right only that I do not know where your radio is facing, please your welcome.

Thank you very much Simon.

Moderator: please get close to the microphone.

My name is Kalinaki Abubaker head teacher Kigulamo P/S in Makuutu sub-county and I am very glad to be here today.

Moderator: Alright thank you for coming Mr. Kigulamo p/s Kalinaki Abubaker from Makuutu and my dear listener we have already started this program I told you that each time we start this program, you should rush to listen to the wards that will take you forwards and promote you to another level. I want to appreciate Elevate partners for education because they enable and strengthen us by funding these programs here at Busoga one 90.6 and I want to inform you that Elevate came up to improve education in Busoga using the locally available solutions.

Today we are going to reflect on what we have come learning on for those four talk shows ever since we started this program for our second phase. And if I talk of the second phase, you very well know that last year our first program ended in December and for this time we started last month in September and we are going to reflect on what we have been focusing on for those last four talk shows ever since we started, identifying of what we have been learning from those like on the 18th September though today is our fifth program but we want to put our emphasis on those last talk shows, what have we learnt from them? What were we talking about? And you will allow me to remind you of what we have been talking about in brief like;


On 18th September we had two head teachers as I let you know friends in the studios and the ones listening in from there today. We said that though schools are still closed by the, others have opened up their doors to parents and children to individually visit those schools in a slow pace to be advised on learning.


We also identified that teachers are using different strategies to engage children in this period like teachers have made home visits to the children, providing them with home work and assignments and they ensure that their work is marked and so many other methods.


Our second talk show happened on the 25th September where we hosted a parent and a head teacher and we learnt that there has been a good strong connection between the teachers and the parents in this period. However, this is not in many schools but parents have received advice from their children teachers, to continue supporting their children learn in this period. This relationship/connection between teachers and parents is not common in some areas, schools and districts it’s not done. Children most especially in lower classes are left isolated, schools and parents are not supporting their children during this period of the lock down due to the disconnection of parents, children and schools.


In our 3rd talk show of this month of October, it happen on 2nd where we hosted 2 lower grade teachers I mean p.1, p.2 and p.3 because you remember very well that those children have stayed without going to school for a long time but they told us that there has been individual arrangements as teachers but not as a school to continue supporting those children to learn in this period. This arrangement is private for those teachers because as teachers meet small groups of children from their neighbors around of 4, 5, 6 of them.


In this way we have seen that many parents have engaged upper class children in this period because I very well remember a parent informed us through a phone call that he got private teachers and not necessary lower grade teachers but to support their children in this period because they have a serving heart. You listening in- how do you understand learn and benefit from this?


On 9th of October last week in this very seat, was Nakiirya Brenda Doreen from Community Concerns Uganda Initiative, this is an organization that works in Mayuge and she is my colleague where she is not I am there vice versa. Brenda was here with one parent in the name of Namugabo Jane from Navunano Kasone village, Busiro, Luuka district. They were reflecting on what parents have gone through to support their children learn in this period and with me I learnt two things allow me to remind you as;


They about the importance of building a strong relationship between the parent and the teacher in this period of the lockdown, that relationship the parent and the child and between the parent and the teacher. Many parents told us that they are finding it hard to support their children to learn in this period why? Because there is no strong relationship between the parent and the children. That was a strong reason that Namugabo talked about where a it must be built because in this period a parent is acting as the immediate supervisor for the child in this period when teacher are not there. A parent monitors a teacher and ensures that you get the right feedback from the child.


The last one was the importance of prioritizing enough time for children to read their study materials in this period and this was very important because you find that parents assign many duties to children like fetching water, washing clothes, digging, collecting firewood, cleaning utensils’, pealing food etc they don’t leave enough time for them. They continued to inform us that this is more dangerous for a girl child because have left their responsibilities to children to look for money and take care of their families, as children are observed in markets with baskets and buckets of pancakes, bananas, greens onions etc. They told us that it is very good for the parent to remain with his responsibility of taking care of your family needs other than leaving them to the children you will bring problems to the children in this lockdown.


Friends present here you have heard those issues and we will base on those issues to have a discussion today. Let me begin with Madam Kasowole from Izira Baptist in Bugiri. Madam Kasowole Florence why do you think it is very important for the school doors and gates to remain open for children and parents to pick learning materials.


Kasowole Florence: Thank you very much moderator and I think it is very important for schools to remain open because it helps children to pick books to always have revision to keep them not forgetting that when schools begin learning will continue.

Secondly, it helps the school to perform well by keeping a standard of all classes by the time schools will re-open.


Moderator: Madam Florence that is an important point but as a head teacher how are you doing it?


Kasowole Florence: As a school head teacher of Izira Baptisit p/s Bugiri, I designed a program in a week to keep visiting parents and the children in their homes though I do not put around the school community but I did not mind about the distance from my place to the communities. When I visit, I encourage the parents and the children to always come and pick the books/ reading materials on Mondays’ and Fridays’- for them to keep reading as they should not forget when schools re-open.


Moderator: Madam Kasowole, you’re telling us that you do no put up around the school and you visit communities, how often do you visit those households?

Kasowole Florence: In a week I always make those visits twice a week and I am always at school every Friday.


Moderator: Which picture can you give us most especially in this period of the lockdown,  when you go for those home visits, which messages do parents give you on the lower class children which schools have never engaged them and they have taken a long time of a round two years how are you managing this?


Kasowole Florence: when I go to visit, there are categories of parents who have engaged their children in this period through using the books they pick from school and there are those who seem to have lost hope for their children and they are totally illiterate and they can no support their children.


Moderator: Now for those who claim they are illiterate, how have you as a head teacher helped and whom do you go with? Teachers, parents or PTAs?

Kasowole Florence: I normally go alone and before this lockdown I used to go with three teachers like Mr Moses, Munyokoli and Miss Akwatulira Rose we normally used to visit and when the lockdown continued it became very hard for teachers to go because they were facilitating for their own transport and now I do it alone. And that question you asked me on how have we helped those illiterate parents I normally tell those parents to approach teachers in the communities, like retired and those locked up in the communities due to covid from different districts, let them use that opportunity for those teachers like a gentleman only that I have forgotten his name but he stays in Buwembula who reported to me that is using the idea and his children are being supported but the challenge is photocopying and getting some facilitation for the teacher when he tells parents to pay something they don’t send back their children.

Moderator: Okay, Madam among all strategies, why did you specifically choose this one approach of visiting children with teachers as you mentioned them like Mr. Munyokoli and the rest in this period as a school leader?

Kasowole Florence: Well this strategy is easy for me because we use different methods like parents meeting but few turn up. So I resorted to going in the communities to also create a good relationship, getting to know where children come from and identifying the challenges and reasons why they fail to respond whenever we call them and this approach has helped me to learn from the communities.

Moderator: Why do you think parents don’t respond for meetings whenever you call them?

Kasowole Florence: Just as I said that they lost hope they think that school should work after the lockdown and whenever we call them they don’t come thinking schools will be operational only in January just as the president said therefore there is something strong we need to do like when I visit those communities I do sensitize them when schools re-open we shall have some where to begin from.

Moderator: Madam Florence Kasowole we have seen most parents and schools prioritizing children in upper classes I mean from p.4 above leaving the lower primary from nursery, p.1-p.3 and according to you as a school which methods have you used to support the learning of those young children before schools re-open?

Kasowole Florence: Moderator on my side I treat all children the same way like those ones in p.1, p.2, and p.3 there is a way how they are being helped because each time I visit the communities parent so much desire to support their children like my infant teacher was approached madam Kwatulira to engage their children but she told them that transport was her problem.

Moderator: Does she put far away from the school?

Kasowole Florence: But there is a parent who is a retired teacher I have forgotten his name he has done a good work to encourage other parents saying even if you only support them in reading because it is good and it lays a good foundation than the other subjects.

Moderator: May be as a school you have found it hard or challenging to support the lower class children compared to the upper class children?

Kasowole Florence: It is hard.

Moderator: You have accepted that it is hard,

Kasowole Florence: Yes it is hard because those young ones they need to be handled differently with their usual teacher, they jump around and they have got very many tricks and teachers attend many workshops on how to handle those little ones etc.

Moderator: Alright that was for children but according to your observations have you noticed some challenges lower primary teachers go through in supporting those children.

Kasowole Florence: According to my observation, the challenges I see most especially in Bugiri teachers have no staff quotas and they cannot support children around their school communities apart from those ones in town near them to parents who can help them. But for the case of my children in Izira parents are using s.4 leavers, retired teachers and LTs whom they are giving them a small facilitation but it’s also hard to give it out.

Moderator: Now as a school which plans does you have of supporting those lower class children in one minute?

Kasowole Florence: According to me and as a school, the plan I have in this period of corona, children should find means of engaging their children with little work because nursery work is not so hard rather than assigning them with lots of domestic work and preventing them from loitering a round because children learn as they play.

Moderator: Okay thank you, she has been Madam Kasowole and that how she was reacting on different issues madam head teacher from Izira Baptist in Bugiri. In studios I still have Mr Kalinaki Abu from Kigulamo p/s found in Makuutut sub-county Bugweri district. Is it so?

Kalinaki Abu:  Yes yes

Moderator: At the radio station here we have your fellow Mugweri mate ( Maening district mate) he sent you regards.

Kalinaki Abu:  True he is my pupil and I taught him from Ibulanku primary school.

Moderator: You are welcome sir.

Kalinaki Abu: Amen

Moderator: Mr .Kalinaki we very well know that schools were closed but how important is to build a good connection between parents and the school?

Kalinaki Abu: Thank you Mr. Simon but it is very important to build that connection between parents and the school because each time we build it a child will benefit how? Because if I know the guardian of this child and each time I am teaching this child in the class, I do not look at this child but I look at the parent because the following day I will give an account the moment I find this child’s parent.

Moderator: How would you think this strong connection can be built as a head teacher just as you said that if your teaching this child you are looking at this parent not the child and if the child is Balondemu, then you’re looking at the parent Kasowole of that Cissy right there that I am teaching him but the parent how can it work strongly?

Kalinaki Abu: Thank you it means that parents should visit the school likewise teachers should visit parents and if we are to do that and I happen to meet this parent called Florence and son Simon does ABCD  at school is like that.

Moderator: That is true but when madam Florence was speaking she told us that it is very hard for parents to come for meetings and in this period when schools are closed, how are you doing it to build the relationship/connection?

Kalinaki Abu: In this period, places of worship were re-opened and let us use that opportunity while they come to attend, let us encourage them to come to schools and teachers will provide work to engage them.

Moderator: What would be done in such areas where they don’t have a strong connection?

Kalinaki Abu: I think Mr. Moderator parents should use cell phones to call each other like parents calling teachers likewise teachers calling parents that connection will be built.

Moderator: In this period we see that parents and teachers have played a big part in building this relationship but there are those who have totally failed to build this strong relationship like parents who are not forth coming yet they want their children to learn what should be done?

Kalinaki Abu: Actually, that point is very true but there are hard parents and hard teachers but sometime there is a problem which is need to find out why is this parent becoming hard I think the language used by a teacher is not good when dealing with parents there must be a clear connection. This will put right the connection.

Moderator: I sow your hand when madam Kasowole was putting a cross her points she was talking about prioritizing the upper class children.

Kalinaki Abu: Thank you, you asked her the challenge that we are finding to support lower class children, but it is true and by experience in education and the years that I have taken,

Moderator: How many years have you taken in education?

Kalinaki Abu: 15 years but those lower classes are hard I remember teaching p.1 in my school practice but they are hard because if you do not visit them regularly you’re not their teacher and you can’t say something different from what their teacher told them. Those children need a longer time.

Moderator: Okay thank you when we get back, we shall begin with madam Florence and for that reason my dear listeners on this good program allow me to take you in the break and after that you will continue speaking to us in the studios and if you have a question you will talking to us all and we are reflecting on what we have come talking about in our four talk shows in this second phase.

Moderator: For sure the wisdom to improve learning resides within us not your neighbor, or anybody, but you listening to this program, me moderating, these people inside and our lines to use are 0776999906 0757906906 you can call and we get to hear from each other.

Well as we wait for the callers madam Kasowole you have heard what Mr Kalinaki was talking about how do you do over their?

Kasowole Florence: What my fellow leader from Bugweri said was concerning the connection between schools and parents and I want to share with you what I do in Izira Baptist p/s, for us we visit those parents especially the little ones it increases love among themselves because formally I thought those young children don’t like me but when I went people gave milk, mangoes, matooke and many food staffs but they showed me a lot of love and it is very important.

Moderator:Okay let us hear from this caller. Hello what is your name and where are you calling from?

Caller 1: My name is Saleh from Kidera.


Moderator: Where is Kidera in Kamuli or Buyende


Saleh: Kidera is in Buyende district.


Moderator: Please comment on the present the matters presented.


Caller2: My name is Kanonobaire Zaidi from Nawankwale.


Moderator: You are welcome Zaidi.


Caller2: The major reason and important among all is for children to learn because this issue of making children stay without going to school has made many girls become pregnant.


Moderator: Mr Zaidi do you have children and how are you managing them? He has gone off.


Caller3: Hello my name is Allan from Buyengo.

Moderator: Please go ahead Allan


Caller3: I have two children and what I did was to get those children and hand them to a teacher to engage them.


Moderator: In which class are they?


Caller3: they are in p.1 and p.5


Moderator: is the teacher supporting them for upper classes or lower classes?


Caller3: Me I just got the same teacher handle them such that they should not forget what they were learning.


Moderator: please encourage the parents listening to you now.


Caller3: I want to encourage all parents to get teachers to keep engaging their children until schools shall be opened.


Moderator: Thank you very much and please send all our regards to people of Buyengo.


Caller5: My name is Kakoza Yowana and what I am trying to do is to engage my children at home by training them in numbers.


Moderator:  Yowana are you a teacher?


Caller5: No I am simply a parent.


Moderator: Thank you Mr. Yowana.


Moderator:  Mr. Kalinaki you have heard those callers.


Kalinaki Abu: True we have heard those callers.


Moderator: what is your view?


Kalinaki Abu: I want to appreciate them and I want to begining with Mr. Kakoza who said that he is handling his children just as Madam said that parents have turned out to be teachers in this period but I will request him to consult the nearby teachers to ensure that they are getting the right content.

Moderator: I very well remember there was a teacher who called us kaliro and he told us that in the entire sub-county there is no single child who is accessing learning in this period yet there are many teachers but parents are not using this opportunity of the present teachers in the communities and children have resorted into sugarcane cutting.


Kalinaki Abu: I want to encourage them to build a good relation/connection and in my school village of kigulamo there is no single teacher,


Moderator: only you present.


Kalinake Abu: I do not come from the village of Kigulamo where my school is.


Moderator: How do you dos manage it?


Kalinaki Abu: I I come from Butaba, Idudi, and some of my teachers come from Mayuge and other neighboring districts so I get there at some other days to collect those books. Okay thank you but let us pick this caller on line


Caller6: My name is Elisa from Buwaya Mayuge.


Moderator: Please go ahead with the issues discussed on.


Caller6: with me I just want to appreciate your presentations.


Caller7: My name is Mulaba from Butongole Kaliro.


Moderator; Yes Mr. Mulaba are you the head master from Butongole.


Caller7: yes sir.


Moderator: please we are very glad to hear from you


Caller7: Over the same issue that you talked about that teachers do not come from nearby their school but I want to advise my fellow teachers to pick 2/3 teacher to take different directions in the communities. Parents are fed up of their children in this period.


Moderator: They are their parents whom will they leave their children for?


Caller7: listen sir, I mean the moment they see a teacher, they have seen a messiah who is going to redeem them in this period.

Moderator: Mr. Mulaba you are a school head teacher and in Butongole Kaliro how are you managing it?


Caller7: Even yesterday I was in Kaliro but I am telling you that every child want me to reach in their home because I work in groups and I use committees to engage them in those small groups I do even post on our media.


Moderator: please communicate to the fellow teachers and head teachers listening in now.


Caller7: I am encouraging my fellow teachers that let us accept the little education and knowledge that our parents have because it’s the one sustaining the children in this period and we need them just like they need us. But some of our friends neglect the little knowledge that our parents have yet we need them.


Moderator: Thank you Mr. Mulaba, I want to read again these numbers to our listeners they are 0776999906 0757906906 Madam Florence you have heard from Mr. mulaba school head teacher that the moment he goes to the village he seen as an hero.


Kasowole Florence: I am thanking Mr. Mulaba for the wonderful job that you are doing of working with the committees I am requesting you to continue working with those committees.

Moderator: I think I eelier posed this question to you of how you’re doing it but you present whom are you working with?


Kasowole Florence: at first I said I used to work with teachers but they lost hope and I am working with the chairpers  PTA like Mr. Obbo Anatoli and the LC1 chairperson with an encouraging message of mobilizing children to learn


Moderator: Thank you so much Madam, but I have a text message here which reads that I great you all and with me I support giving children reading materials my name is Mulowoza Agrey from Busiro.


Moderator: Thank you Mulowoza from Busiro and let me pick this caller.


Caller8: my name is Ayub Nsango from Namayingo and with us we are engaging our children in mathematics using the environment around us.


Moderator: encourage parents listening to us.


Caller8: I do call upon parents from Nsago to always engage their children

Moderator: Mr. Kalinaki you have heard that caller the strategy is using to teach his children using the environment how do you comment about it?


Kalinaki: Those strategies are good and even us when we are teaching we use the surrounding environment to ensure that the child should not forget then the rest follow. So that approach is good when we begin it will not give us hard time


Caller8: My name is Minayo from Nantamali Luuka district Ikumbya sub-county


Moderator: Please discuss over the matters raised.


Caller8: I want to appreciate that madam who said that she visits children in their homes. Because there teachers who are not visiting their schools in this period but I thank her to continue with that spirit.


Moderator: How can you convey your message to the teachers of Nantamali?


Caller8: I appeal to teachers to focus on their children and parents.


Moderator: Thank you so much and that was the strong parent connection we were talking about. Madam Florence, that gentleman has appreciated you.


Kasowole Florence: and I am appealing to teachers to in Nantamali and elsewhere to keep checking their schools because schools have become bushy, bats allover the buildings etc but I encourage them to clean just like in Bugiri the DEO Mr. Kabulo does through sensitinzing head teachers to always keep their schools clean and updated.


Moderator: Thank you Mr. Kabulo DEO my friend regards to you sir. Let me get one caller and we wind up.


Caller9: My name is Masaba from Kayunga, I am glad for all your services over there


Moderator: Yes Mr. Masaba we are glad hearings from you in Kayunga please go on with the issues


Caller9: I also try to support my children using their books like my children of 5 and 6 years.


Moderator: how do you help those children of 5 and 6 years?


Caller9: I use sticks and I count with them.

Moderator: convey your last message to the parents.


Caller9: I want parents listening to this radio to use the same tricks.


Moderator: thank you so much Mr. Masaba and this program is so sweet that I can  see many people calling in but time is against us and I want to appreciate all of you callers and we are still reflecting on what we have been learning from our four last talk shows. I believe we are learning something form this program until when schools shall be re-opened in January and this is not a permanent situation and templar we shall go through is very well. Beginning with Mr. Kalinaki tells us what you have learnt from this program and send regards to two people in one minute.


Kalinaki Abu: thank you sir, what I have learnt is I can see many parents have supported their children that are very good and I am encouraging you not to be discouraged and take good care of the children, we should not propel them to become pregnant.

Moderator: send regards to two people.


Kalinaki Abu: I want to send greetings to my wife and children Kasoga Sarah, my mother and all staff like teacher Sarah who just called me from here and all the staff of Kigulamo p/s.

Moderator: Thank you Mr Kalinaki, okay let us get to madam Florence Kasowole. Madam what have you learnt today and send regards to two people.


Kasowole Florence: The message I have got today according to the calls we received and basing on the what the moderator said together with the my fellow head teacher from Bugweri I have learnt that parent have taken care of the children, they have turned into teachers in this period and even when schools re-open parents will continue supporting their children and a lot like that parent who said that children are becoming pregnant.


Moderator: it means that parents have known the importance of teachers.


Kasowole Florence: They have extremely known importance and I hope the relationship shall increase. This is because there have been parents who think teachers eat free money/ salary because in this lockdown people have learnt the good and bad out of it don’t you think Mr. Moderator people have learnt?

Moderator: They have real learnt; please send regards to two people.


Kasowole Florence: I want to send my regards to my lovely Mr. Kiirya who facilitated me to Nathan this place, my children Diana, Esther, Joel and Denis that I am here on radio and on the way coming back. My DEO Mr. Kabulo Hennery, Inspector Madam Mastula and all parents of Izira Baptist P/S let us continue supporting children.


Moderator: Okay I than everyone who is been listening and what I have learnt that teachers are continuing to visit and support children in their homes but there is still a challenge of the parents of strengthening the relationship between the parents and the children but Mr. Kalinaki told us that let us use places of worship to reach the massage to parents and there was callers in the names of Mulaba who said that he is working with the committees to reach the children. I want to appreciate everyone for listening to us and I want to inform all the listeners that my brother has lost his wife in the names of Rogers Muluta, the wife died from Jinja main hospital and the body has been taken in our home village Butiki. I remain your host Balondemu Simon from GIST shalom, stay well and bye-bye.