Talk 1: Introduction, Household Situation

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TALK SHOW HELD ON 29/08/2020 Busoga One 90.6 FM

Moderator: Nakirya Brenda Doreen

Panelist 1: Musoke Joel (Headteacher Bugiiri District)

Panelist 2: Kwaga Lydia (Teacher Mayuge District)

Panelist 3: Magoba Abdu Magidu (Parent Luuka District)

MODERATOR: 

My name is Nakirya Brenda Doreen; I work with a CBO called Community Concerns Uganda Initiative in Mayuge district. We work hand in hand with Elevate and Twaweza Uganda.

However, I have moved with my colleagues with whom we are going to share today.

TEACHER: 

 My name is madam Kwaga Lydia, i come from Mayuge. Listen attentively. 

HEADTEACHER: 

My name is Musoke Joel. I am a head teacher in Bugiiri district in a school called Namaganjo primary school. Everyone listening to us out there, I request you to listen attentively to what we are going to share and put it into practice.

PARENT:

My name is Magoba Abdu Magidu, I come from Bulanga in Luuka district. I therefore request all of you that we are going to share with listen carefully and if you have anything to add on, to put it forward if given chance.

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MODERATOR: 

Our major theme today, we are going to speak about Corona virus and this lockdown the children are not learning in schools. Parents were given the responsibility of teaching. They have to take care of their children as well as teach them to make sure that learning goes on. Therefore, the children are continuing to learn with the help of their parents. And since schools are closed, we are not aware of how soon they will be opened because it’s now five months passed yet they have up to now remained closed.  Together with Elevate the partners for education, we carried out research and found it that there are some parents who are not incurring money in continuing to help their children to learn and in different ways. So, today we are going to share and find out how those parents are playing this new teaching role. Let us listen to these parents and find out how they are helping and teaching these children. We also have a teacher and a head teacher who are going to tell us how they are continuing to support the children’s learning especially during this lock down.

HEAD TEACHER: 

Thank you very much. Just as I told you earlier that am a headmaster from Bugiiri, the children’s learning during this lock down has not been easy. It’s on going but most people do not mind. We therefore call upon all the parents to mind on the children’s learning while at home as this will help them. We have to guide and encourage the children to see them learning. Within the different places, there are different ways in which parents are helping their children. In Bugiiri, there are three divisions where parents are helping the children together with the teachers within the community. The study materials which were provided by the government were given to the parents who gave it to their children. Parents therefore approach teachers in their neighbourhoods to help the children go through that work.

The other way is that the people of Bugiiri are fortunate that World Vision is operating in three sub counties there. World Vision is using the approach of recruiting teachers to move from door to door as they teach the children they find there. Teachers move from 9: 00 am to 1: 00 pm every day. They move from one home to another, collect around five children and teach them. This program is operating in three sub counties i.e. Nabukalu sub county, Nankoma sub county and Buwanga sub county. I therefore encourage the parents to within those sub counties to utilise this chance because it’s a great opportunity for their children. However, there are those parents who are not interested in helping their children that’s why we are encouraging you to see that your children learn. Parents who are living outside World Vision’s operating areas, should utilise the teachers within the community continue with the children’s learning. 

I beg to first end here.

TEACHER: 

In Mayuge our home area, the government sent the learning materials though they were not enough. But as parents, we put in more efforts, picked the papers from the LCs where they were staged and we made sure that our children learn. The fact that the teachers within are also parents, they are approachable and willing to assist the children to learn. This is because learning is made up of three people i.e. the child, the teacher and the parent. But, what a parent teaches a child cannot easily be forgotten by the child. So, we call upon the parents to encourage and guide their children in learning. Teach them what you know. Some children also have brothers and sisters in the secondary level and can help them in maths and letters/ sounds. These children can teach each other because there are some learning tactics they remind each other while playing.

I beg to first end here.

MODERATOR: 

 Hajji what do you say about it.

PARENT:

 It is really good to teach children but the opportunity in Bugiiri has not reached our home area. There are no teachers who move from door to door to teach children. Therefore, as parents we sit together with our children and listen to the radio programs and learn slowly by slowly. I request all the parents not to lag behind and should put in more effort because good things are worked for.  You should therefore work for those children because with time, they will be there to support us. I do not have much to say but I call upon you to encourage the children to learn from what is taught on the radios. Those are my views.

MODERATOR: 

We are going to continue sharing as we want to know of the importance of teaching these children especially during this lock down as parents and teachers.

HEAD TEACHER:

           Thank you Moderator. There are many importance’s of teaching those children.

  1. It keeps the child not to get spoilt especially when they are idle. When you keep your child idle, the idea of learning diminishes since they are just sitting at home. You find that the children begin to misbehave. Therefore, teaching them keeps them useful and aware that learning still exists.
  2. When you engage the children in books, they cannot move to go and join the bad peer groups. They will stay at home and do their work bearing it in mind that the parents who gave them that work will question them for not doing it. This helps a child not to join bad groups.
  3. It also teaches the child to know their responsibility and fear for the parents that whenever they are assigned work to do they have to do it.

TEACHER: 

 To add on that this COVID 19 period has enabled the children to learn their local languages because when a parents teaches in the local language, the child learns easily and this makes it easy for them not to forget what they learnt before and even learn new things. 

The child does not even loiter a lot in the village.

Some children who do not want to reach school are handled here since they cannot hide from the homes and learning takes place within. These children will sit and listen to the lessons unlike at school where some children play in classes. Some children fear their parents and will learn.

The children will not join friends who are ill mannered because when they join such friends, they will be troubled and begin misbehaving and rumour mongering. This helps them to keep around homes as they continue learning.

PARENT: 

It’s very true as earlier said by my colleagues. Some children do not behave the same way while at home and school. Because some children misbehave at school since their parents are not there.  Whenever a child sees a parent encouraging him/her, he/she gets interested and continues with learning with a belief that what the parents want is beneficial. The child grows up knowing the intentions of the parents and continues with learning. As a parent, you may in the end reap the good out of that child. Children also begin to copy from other friends whose parents are empathetic on learning and admire the learning process. Therefore, parents should not be reluctant about teaching children thinking that since COVID 19 is here that children should sit at home. Children should not sit at home because they might end messing up but, if you keep them busy with books, they cannot mess up. 

MODERATOR:

In the research we did, we talked to the parents and to the teachers on which ways they are teaching the children during the lock down. And in this research, we found out that there are parents who are doing unique things to keep their children learning. I hope that in your different places Bugiiri, Luuka and Mayuge, there are some known people who are doing unique things to see that the children continue learning. I would like us to share  more about that.

HEADTEACHER: 

Thank you very much moderator. It’s true that there are so many different parents who take the responsibility to equip their children with work to do because they do not want them to be idle. It being that am a head teacher, parents reach out to me and ask for learning materials. This gives me a very big task as a head teacher to find what I can to give to the children to learn. There are those good parents and I appreciate their efforts to see that children learn and should continue with that not only in Bugiiri but also other places. However, there are those who do not mind that we are encouraging to follow the trend because learning has not stopped. Do not think that COVID 19 shall not allow us gain something. Learning is continuing and mind that the children will go back to school with the little they learnt. This is because they can tell you one morning that the children are going to sit for PLE but when your child did not learn anything since march when schools closed. We therefore encourage such parents to support their children, reach out to teachers and will give you learning materials without any payment. That is my request.

Moderator: 

That parent played it well to call and consult from the headmaster. Lydia you also tell us that unique things you hear in Bwonda- Maina that parents do to continue teaching.

TEACHER: 

A parent approaches me and asks me to help his/her children where I find time of at least 10 minutes every day to teach them the small word aspects. But, of the three to five children attending the session, there will be that playful child that does not mind about learning. I therefore request the parents to put in more effort in teaching the children because it’s the order of the day. If a child is not learnt, he/she cannot become anything in the future. I also continue to say that COVID 19 will not stop the learning process, we are still learning though people assume that this is a dead year.

MODERATOR: 

Hajji you also tell us something.

PARENT: 

I continue to affirm my fellow parents that we should have a heavy-duty and should put in more time to teach the children even when COVID 19 exists. We shall not all die. Some people will remain and the learnt children that will remain will be of great importance in the future. So, let us not fear the existence of COVID 19 and teach the children.

MODERATOR: 

Hajji tell us if there are some parents who do wonderful things because I know that you share with other parents in the village. There are those who share on how they are teaching their children without incurring money but when there are making  a difference.

PARENT: 

There are those parents in our locality, though I will not be able to mention their names. They are there and have done their best.

MODERATOR: 

What is that they are doing?

PARENT: 

The parents have been able to approach the nearby teachers and asked them to mark their children’s learning materials especially those that were provided by the government. These enable the children to realise what is right and what is wrong. They are also able of learn their capabilities and failures and creates a go ahead for them on where to put more effort. I therefore request the parents not to give up that whoever expects good out of the child will get it out of teaching/ learning. Without educating a child, you cannot reap tomorrow’s best future. Don’t give up.

MODERATOR: 

Thank you so much Hajji, head master please give us some other examples of those different things parents are doing other than calling on phones so as to teach their children.

HEAD TEACHER: 

Thank you so much. In fact, most parents are minding because you find them sitting with their children at times when lessons are running on radios. This is because children are complicated and may not listen attentively without parents watching over them. I have evidenced this in different homes. This also helps a parent to master what is taught on the radio and remind of the child later when the session is done. Others who also have televisions watch them together to avoid children from tuning in other stations. Since COVID 19 is in place, we also need to be aware that COVID 19 exists though some people doubt its existence. It’s there and let us keep our children alive and healthy in the homes because they can easily get infected when they loiter in the villages unlike when they stay busy with books at home and even doing other house chores.

MODERATOR: 

I know that even the parents we are encouraging to teach the children are finding challenges, what challenges are those?

TEACHER:

Thank you so much moderator.  The biggest challenge with village children especially those in lower primary is that they know and are used to their teachers and that whatever is taught to them by other teachers is not true. The languages that the teachers use are also not understandable and children say that when our teachers teach in English, they also interpret in the local language and even puts some sounds and actions which is not practical especially with radio sessions.

The time which is also designed for radio learning sessions is also limited and teachers do not have enough time to explain to the children.

MODERATOR:

Hajji explain more about the challenges 

PARENT:

Some children have other desirables other than learning and even loose interest in learning. You therefore expect them to be learning but when they are not picking anything.  However, we are not supposed to just take a look at them but rather continue reminding them of the value of education until when they realise that and become children of value.

MODERATOR:

Head teacher you can add on something.

HEAD TEACHER:

Thank you. The biggest challenge in learning while at home is that parents want to force the children to learn yet children know that they are not teachers. Yet they are to just convince them to learn. Parents prefer beating up the children to force them to learn. Parents! Children learn slowly by slowly not forcefully. Convince them to learn not forcing them. These children do not understand at the same pace, do not punish those that pick at a slow pace.

The other challenge is that parents give a lot of free time to the children to loiter in the village and therefore convincing a child to learn is quite hard especially at times they feel it’s for leisure. Children are left to do useless activities like watching television, using smart phones. I advise you to keep your children busy like in revising books, doing house chores such that they do not over relax on useless activities.

MODERATOR:

Thank you Head master. In the research we did, some parents told us that they are finding it hard that the children are uncontrollable, what do you say about especially those who have been capable of taking care of their children.

TEACHER:

Thank you moderator. As the head teacher mentioned, these children need to be shown some love, and be brought closer to their parents. Do not beat and shout at them because they avoid you and hide away from you. So build a close relationship with them such that they do not fear you.

HEADTEACHER:

For what I can add on is that some parents do not schedule for their children since they leave homes very early in the morning to go for work. Therefore, the children do not know what to do and at what time. 

MODERATOR:

We are going to have a short break and after the break, you will call us and ask some questions on numbers; 0757906906 or 0776999906

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Elevate advert is played

MODERATOR:

I welcome you back from that break. We are going to receive your calls, call and ask questions. The numbers are; Airtel-  0757906906, MTN -0776999906

Caller 1.

Greetings Hajji, my name is Awali from Buwolya Makova we have liked the theme today. The situation is worsening especially with the girls who have become a problem and do not listen to their parents. However, we request you to reach out to us here in Makova.

MODERATOR:

I would like you to ask a question concerning that.

Caller 1:

When is Hajji reaching us here in Makova, because we are doing bad here in our locality.

Caller 2:

Thank you for serving us. This is James from Nalinaibi. Did you know that learning sessions organised are only for primary children. When are they organising for the secondary classes?

Caller 3:

Thank you for serving us. Learning is now organised on radios and TVs but do you know that most of the people in the villages do not have radios and TVs. My name is Emmanuel from Nabwigulu.

Caller 4:

I’m Bernard from Budoma Luuka, my question is that can’t the world Vision program reach us here in Luuka.

Caller 5:

Thank you for serving the nation. I’m Magidu from Bubalagala ,Mayuge district, I want to ask that for those who organised learning on radios, children normally receive termly report cards how will they receive their report cards.

Caller 6:

I’m Lydia from Bukuutu, the challenge is that children who have been attending private primary schools have been learning in English and now get confused with the local language which is being taught on radios. The other thing is that the learning materials which were distributed are set in English yet some parents cannot read English and this becomes a great challenge.

Caller 7:

The standards at which radios and TVs are teaching are high and for town students compared to the learning levels of the village children and does not favour them. And even most people lack radios and TVs. My name is Richard from Butagaya.

Caller 8:

  I’m Mebra from wairaka and I would like to appreciate Nakirya Brenda Doreen for that session we really liked it.

MODERATOR:

We are now going to answer the questions as you asked them. And the first question goes straight to Hajji. 

The head teacher requests to first answer.

 

HEADTEACHER:

I request to answer that question. The question is that how best can we reach out to Makova. Parents, I urge you not to wait for us to reach you but to begin on now if you had not yet started helping your children. Hajji will find you when the learning is ongoing. Whenever you hear such programs on radios that encourage you to teach your children, listen attentively.

MODERATOR:

Mr. James asked that which arrangement is there for the secondary level because most of the programs are for primary.

HEADTEACHER:

The secondary level has two arrangements. Only that most parents are worried that they do not have televisions. However secondary level sessions are arranged on television. However, we shall reach out to the concerned people (education officers) to at least make arrangements on radios.

MODERATOR

Lydia add  something.

TEACHER:

I have listened to one radio station running secondary lessons, but it’s always in the afternoon from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. They teach geography and English. I continue calling upon the ministry of education to make arrangements for the secondary students especially the candidates.

MODERATOR:

One parent asked about world vision, head master talk about that.

HEAD TEACHER:

World Vision is an NGO and has a specific area of operation and cannot be everywhere, and the government recommends its operations in areas/ districts with most pressing needs. And NGOs are not concentrated in one area. Perhaps there are other NGOs there though doing different activities. However, it moves around districts never know it will happen to come to Luuka anytime.

MODERATOR:

One parent talked about report cards.

HEAD TEACHER:

The fact is that children are learning but we do not expect them to get report cards. The major aim is to keep children aware that learning is ongoing and in case of school re opening children will begin from there and will be examined of what they are learning now.

TEACHER:

When teachers teach, that’s the time when you begin marking the child, however there is no direct interaction between the teacher and the child, therefore this is to keep the child learning until when schools reopen.

 

MODERATOR:

One parent asked that how will children learn yet some people lack radios. Haji tell us how those without radios are doing it.

PARENT:

Those without radios can continue using the learning materials which were given to them by the government and also seek assistance from teachers within villages.

MODERATOR:

Head master add on that.

HEAD TEACHER:

The fact is that the government gave out learning materials but when it’s done, do not end there reach out to teachers because they have some learning materials. They will give it to them and most teachers follow up to find out how children are doing and even mark them.

Reach out to schools, head teachers and teachers where those children have been learning from to get some study materials.

MODERATOR:

Thank you very much for sharing with us. We apologise for the un answered questions but we have run out of time. We hope to be here every Saturday to share with you about the learning of our children. Continue calling in to share and ask questions. We have remained Elevate and Community Concerns Uganda. God continue keeping you.

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