Talk 18: How Parents Are Playing The Teaching Role, And How Best Schools Can Support Them

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Our good listener I want to appreciate you for tuning in and this is Busoga one 90.6 radio. My name is Nakiirya Brenda Doreen I work with Community Concern Uganda Initiatives and our offices are located in Wairaka and we work in areas of education and vocational skill. We also do operate in districts like Jinja, Mayuge Luuka, Kamuli and Buyende district. Today I have not come alone but along with my friend who is going to introduce herself to you by telling you where she is coming from, the school where she is teaching but I know that she has come here in two capacities; as a teacher and as a parent, Madam your welcome.

Madam: Thank you madam.

Moderator: tell us your name.

Madam: My name is Madam Talivawo Eseza, I am a teacher from Nango P/S in Mayuge district and this school is found at the lake shores and I am a teacher of primary two.

Moderator: Thank you Madam Eseza and you are welcome. I want to continue thanking Elevate partners for education for funding this program and they work to improve education just as you have heard that the wisdom to learn resides within us. I want to appreciate the parents, teachers and the children who have gone ahead to listen to this program every Saturday from 12:00-1:00pm and also thanking all the stake holders who have gone ahead to support education and I am appealing to parents to draw your children close to the radio to continue listening to this program and if they wish to also contribute towards our discussion, please give them the phone to air out their views.

Today we are going to talk about the theme of: parents fulfilling their responsibilities of supporting their children in this lockdown and how can teachers support parents. Previously, we have been talking about a number of topics but for today that is our emphasis.

Last week my collegue was here in the name of Balondemu Simon and he was with Madam Kasowole Florence a head teacher from Izira Baptist p/s and Mr. Kalinaki Abubaker from Kigulamo p/s in Bugweri district and on that same day they talked about reflecting on the four talk shows ever since we started our second phase of this program. And they talked about a number of things allow me to remind you because I want us to move on the same page.

  • They told us that school head teachers have a good relationship with teachers and those other stake holders like the SMC, PTA, LCs and they go on visiting the children in their homes by encouraging them to read their books and visiting the schools.
  • They also told us that other schools are playing a big role in engaging the lower class children from home though it is not an easy task because those children need many activities like singing, dancing etc where not everyone can handle those children it needs those who have at least trained.
  • And they told us that parents are not chasing them (teachers) but they are welcoming them to continue supporting their children that’s very good but similarly there are parents who are not reaching out to teachers and consult them in their villages yet teachers are closer to them. There are illiterate parents who are reaching out to teachers to support them.
  • And they told us that let teachers relate with parents and schools to continue supporting children in this lock down such that they shouldn’t forget what they are meant to learn.

Today I want to remind you of what we are going to discuss on how parents fulfill their responsibilities of supporting their children in this lockdown and how teachers can support parents. Now as earlier told you that I have madam Eseza as a parent today please tell us how old are your children and in which class are they?

Eseza: As a parent, I have children in the education system totaling to four- 2 boys in s.3, 1 in p.6 and 1 in baby class they are all school going.

Moderator: Thank you, just as you have heard what I had reminded the listeners what they talked about last week; there are parents who are looking for teachers from their homes to support and speaking to them. Now as a parent how are you supporting your children in this period to access learning?

Eseza: As a parent in this period Covid, we have to help those children a lot for example we have bought learning materials to train them on and attending radio lessons like on Mondays and Wednesday’s  S.3 are taught biology, chemistry and what we do is to fix them time and allow them to attend those lessons. For the lower class children, we are able to attend to them, buy them learning materials, and they ask in case of any corrections. For S.1 students I normally get to my phone and record those lessons in case of any repetitions, we get back to the recordings and we continue with the learning. I do provide the little one with work because I can manage them.

Moderator:  Thank you madam but there is parents who told us they use the elder children in upper classes to train the little ones, do your children to support the little ones with learning and if so how?

Eseza: Well, it’s true they help their little ones but there areas where they cannot help them on serious work apart from when they help them in a playful way, through question and answer like if you pass these questions I will give you a coin of 500 and simple questions to S.3 like what is a map etc they can help them learn.

Moderator: That is very interesting, they learn through playing and as a parent taking responsibilities of engaging your children to learn in this period, why do you think it is very important and the listener outside there would like to know the good things in supporting the children to learn in this period.

Eseza: The reason why we should not neglect these children in this period is to continue engaging them by not losing hope of education and remain prepared thinking what they are learning is what they are going to be examined into so they remain focused.

Moderator: True you already told us that your children sometimes ask you some questions which shows that you have a good relationship with your children despite the fact that it has been a very long holiday and we cannot say that things have not been bad since but we can register some positive things like parents building a good relationship with their children, what is your view over that?

Eseza:  Yes we have been with those children but sometimes we feel they do not belong to us because we have been staying with them for a short time like 2-3weeks then they leave for school again. This has not been a good time for us all but it helped us a lot because we have discovered much from the children like many things children could not afford doing like not knowing how to wash, cooking, because they don’t know what has been happening like we take cooked food during visitation days. Therefore this period has helped us to discover a lot from them. Even in education there are those who over sleep and a parent can observe this during the time they weak up in the morning. This is a sign that this child enters the class late so we have learnt much from the children.

Moderator:  That is great and at least we can say that we have learnt much on them in this Covid period and there are parents who say that they have kept their children at home without letting them loiter around the villages though it’s encountered with challenges. What are the challenges that have faced in fulfilling your responsibility as a teacher?

Eseza: The challenges I have faced is when I want to involve myself in teaching and at the same time as a parent is that children were losing hope, it means when schools re-open this child will not take it serious. Therefore, we bring them together guide them on formal and informal education like you have to be confident until when schools will re-open rather than impregnating girls at a tender age and many other life skills to reduce those life challenges as we have got enough time to speak to them. Because at schools senior women teachers and men teachers have talking them where they are not we parents are doing the work.

Moderator: You said it is a challenge because parents have been challenged to talk their children on those issues but it is incumbent upon a parent to talk to his/her children about sexuality education like relationships among boys and girls, growth and development, menstruation for sure parents have not been giving this information to the children thinking it is a challenge. However there are other challenges that you talked about that children are not giving enough attention like they do at school, can you please proceed with your issue.

Eseza: Because teachers have got a special way of handling those children like in groups sometime but at home children shift their attention on other things like your speaking to him and all his minds are on foot ball like Man-U etc then as parents we get a little challenged its upon us to observe who is the real parent in this period of two years as you cannot just a abandon the child until the time teachers shall have to handle him or her at school.

Moderator: But still there are parents who told us their children are looking for money, hawking products unlike yours who are thinking about foot ball and Man-U- that is exercising. What is that greatest thing that you have learnt as a parent in taking your responsibility in this period for your children?

Eseza: If teachers were to be present, I think they would asked the parents’ telephone numbers to remain engaging them from home like the radio programs like my children at Hakapice I normally call them and even children calling the teachers for answers but the little ones would get papers and return them after they are done with the work.

Moderator: Thank you madam, now we should enter into another segment as a teacher because you have discussing with us as a parent. You have talking to us referring to” we” meaning your two, who is that one and how are you supporting?

Eseza: If this child is not orphaned, there is always a father and a mother and us teachers we team with the father to support the children how, through buying them books, pens by not allowing this child lack as the father supports in buying those materials.

Moderator: I do not think there are only books but there are other things/ scholastic materials.

Eseza: Yes not those ones alone but there are questions which are produced every Wednesday a man can buy them in the news papers to keep them busy because a father has provided them.

Moderator: Madam, as a teacher from Nango P/S how have you helped children in your community to continue learning in this lockdown?

Eseza: If a parent happens to come to me in this lockdown with a view of supporting his/her child, what I do is to advice though I does not give a whole day but I do provide the child with home work and I tell the parent to support the child in case the parent is defeated, I tell them to come to me for corrections and that is the way how I have been supporting children in that manner.

Moderator: Alright we shall be going for the short break and after the break we shall pick the calls and that is the time were we continue discussing about how parents have fulfilled their responsibilities of engaging their children in this lockdown and how schools/teachers have supported the parents by calling on these numbers of 0757906906/0776999906 and continue to discuss with us.

Moderator:  welcome back from the break and I want to remind you on how parents are fulfilling their responsibilities of engaging their children in this lockdown and how schools and teachers are supporting parents, I want to remind you of the telephone numbers to call on- 0757906906/0776999906 call and share with us as a teacher or parent on how your fulfilling that responsibility of supporting the children.

Hello, tell us your name and where you’re calling from,

Caller1: My name is Gilbert from Namasagali

Moderator: Thank you Gilbert for calling, are a parent or teacher?

Caller1: I am a student of s.2.

Moderator: Gilbert how are teachers and parent supporting you to continue learning in this period?

Caller1: They get me past papers to go through and put me right in case I have misfired the questions and answers.

Moderator: Thank you for calling Gilbert, what is the name of your school?

Caller1: Country side college Mukono.

Caller2: My name is Magola Philp from Buyende.

Moderator: Thank you for appreciating, are a parent or teacher?

Caller2: I only want to appreciate your services.

Moderator: He has left and he only appreciated our services.

Caller3: my name is Nakisige Esther Ruth from Budabangula.

Moderator: Okay Esther, is you a teacher or parent?

Caller3: I am a parent.

Moderator: Oaky, in which ways have you taken responsibilities of supporting your children in this lockdown?

Caller3: I do mobilize all children together because I have one in p.6, p.2 and two in baby class. I categories them in different groups according to their age and I bought books and I give questions to elder children who responds and after that, I do engage them with domestic work where they have all been positive and they are humble but their question is when are they beginning school?

Moderator: Yes you have to encourage them as this parent has told us.

Caller3: okay madam.

Moderator: Thank you madam, I have only forgotten to ask her if she is a teacher but she told us children ask her questions and she answers them. Okay let us pick another caller.

Caller4: Thank you for serving.

Moderator: Okay sir; please tell us your name and where you’re calling from?

Caller4: My name is Isabirye Ibrah, I am a student from Malongo Akapice secondary school.

Moderator: In which class is you?

Caller4: I am in S.3.

Moderator: Thank you for learning but how are your parents and teachers supporting you in this period?

Caller4: Teachers are helping me because they call me and provide me with past papers, I even discuss with my friends and my father provides money.

Moderator: Now in this period, which message can you give to your fellow students listening in now?

Caller4: I am encouraging them to continue learning and not to e discouraged any time schools will be re-opened. I remain Isabirye Ibrah from Nango.

Moderator: Thank you so much Isabirye Ibrah.

Now madam you have heard what people are telling us and what the other parent has told us, she is similarly engaging them they way you’re doing it. She mobilizes children together but there are parents who told us that they are illiterate, which advice can you give them?

Eseza: Parents who claim that they have never went to school/illiterate should not even complain because in this regime it is not necessary it is a must that any parent should support the children, primary teachers are all over and the advantage with primary teachers is they do not specialize so much on classes, parents should look for teachers in the villages for support and advice. If that teacher is unable, he/she will direct you to another teachers for example like that boy from Nango who is being helped by his teachers children and parents can copy the same.

Moderator: Thank you madam, let us pick another caller.

Hello caller, thank you for calling and please tell us your name and where your calling from?

Caller5: Hello, my name is Arone Lubaale from Nabirumaba

Moderator: Yes Arone, are you a parent or a teacher?

Caller5: I am speaking as a parent and I want to thank that teacher in the studios but parents have not taken their full responsibility in this period to because those children have got notice which they can concentrate on until schools shall be opened. Parents should encourage their children to revise their books like p.5 or p.6 exams shall be set right from p.4.

Moderator: How have you helped your children to keep learning?

Caller5: I have played my part but my partner at home has not done much because as I got to look for money to take care of the family and there is no illiterate parent I think every parent is a teacher.

Moderator: Madam, you have that parent is saying he buys everything like books at home and most times we have heard female parents saying they take the responsibility. At least you’re a female and working together with your husband what is your advice?

Eseza: I want to advice that parent let him look for a teacher around the village because its known that mothers are filled with much domestic work to continue engaging his children. He should not dwell on the issue that the mother is not helping the children.

Moderator: Well, you are advised to get a nearby teacher to keep helping the children in this period. I want to repeat the studio line for more discussions- that is 0757906906/0776999906 call us and we share.

Caller6: Hello we thank your good services; my name is Mudhasi Peter from Butaleja.

Moderator: Yes Mudhasi are a parent or teacher?

Caller6: I am a teacher.

Moderator: How are you engaging children in your community in this period?

Caller6: I am teaching children very well but you will forgive me and I want to start with the parents.

Moderator: please go head.

Caller6: Any disciplined child- charity begins from home and a good foundation must be laid from home and children should know what should be done at what time and when? Thank you for that topic and God bless you.

Caller7: My name is Grant from Nabyoto.

Moderator: Yes Mr. Grant.

Caller7: I appreciate your services.

Caller8: My name is Mugere Deo from Nango.

Caller8: I am asking, inquiring and advising my fellow parents at the same time. Parents are expecting that teachers will do everything to the child yet discipline has to be taught from home. Let us talk about the eating habits, dressing code, working etc, had to be learnt from homes.

Moderator:  How are you handling your children in this period?

Caller8: For the last two years learning has not been so strong but for the case of madam Eseza she has been in Nango for long but there are no parents who have been approaching her until she left this side. I am appealing to parents to utilize the teachers instead of children going to trading centers.

Moderator: Madam you have heard what this parent was reporting from Nango that parents were not coming to you rather than children moving around trading centres, what would you tell them to do in this period?

Eseza: There are hard communities like I have been in Nango for 10 years and we have been having normal classes without Covid but parents use Tuesdays to send children to open markets to sale papyrus mats and small fish and during rainy seasons parents are send their children to the forest to dig. These are now two years without children getting to school; you can imagine p.5 girls are getting pregnant, which type of mothers are we going to have? I am appealing to parents to take care and give children time and hope for this remaining period of time. Nango P/S is big with a library like a parent can go to Mr. Wabugoyera the H/T to get books. Children should pick reading materials from school, they should not think that the school closed, its still open. Children will have the mood of wanting to study.

Moderator: Okay I will be picking two calls and we conclude this show and our numbers to call on are 0757906906/0776999906

Hello caller, please tell us your name and where you’re calling from.

Caller9: My name is Kiiza Samson from Nansololo

Moderator: Are you a parent or teacher

Caller9: I am a pupil in p.7

Moderator: Yes tell us.

Caller9: There are parents if they notice that you have picked a book to revise, they send you for water, collecting firewood etc and you ask how you will learn without parents giving you time to study.

Moderator: What do you want to appeal to parents?

Caller9: I am appealing to all parents to reserve time for us to ready our books.

Moderator: Thank you Samson, let us pick a nother caleer.

Caller10: I am calling from Nabirumba my name is Alone.

Moderator: we have lost him let us pick the last caller.

Let us end the calls from their – because time is not our best ally. Madam as we conclude our program because for today yopur our special case, you doubled as a apparent and a teacher at the same time. What would you like to tell parents outside?

Eseza: Fellow parents develop confidence in yourselves and build hope in children. Now if a parent is caring you are the light of this child, schools are open go and sign for the books and past papers. I want to thank the school of Hakapice for facilitating those lessons on the radio because I hear many students calling in and they are responded too. If its atime for the radio parents allow your children to attend.

Moderator: Okay madam time is not our side; you can send regards to a few people.

Eseza: I want to send regards to my Head teacher, Mr. Wabugoyera Simon, thank you for keeping our school and us all though we are not at school, my co- teachers Namukose, Penina, George thank you for handling children in this period of Covid, PTA parents like Kalungi, Lutale Edward and others.

 Moderator: Thank you and we continue tell you that we are here every Saturday from 12:100pm tune in and I continue thanking Elevate Partners for Education for funding this program. I want to send my regards to my fellow staff from community concern Uganda Initiatives, all colleagues working on PD and my Aunties from Magamaga. See you then Bye.