Talk 11: On Head Teachers’ Roles

---- Transcript -----

Talk Show Held On 5th / 12/2020 on Busoga One 90.6Fm

Moderator: Nakiirya Brenda Doreen

Panelist 1: Lukolobe John (Bugiiri District)

Panelist 2: Amoiti Rose (Bugweri District)

 Panelist 3: Wairagala Godfrey (Luuka District)

Advert:

Moderator:

Our dear listeners thank you for tuning in Busoga one – the heart of Busoga 90.6 FM. By the names I’m Nakiirya Brenda Doreen, I work with community concerns Uganda Initiative. Our offices are located in Wairaka. We work hand in hand with Elevate the partners for education who play a very big role in supporting this program to be a success.

Along with me I have moved with my other three colleagues and they are going to introduce themselves to you.

To begin with,

Panellist 1:

Thank very much! My name is Lukolobe John the head teacher of Buluguyi primary school in Bugiiri district.

Moderator:

Thank you Mr. Lukolobe. Let’s hear from another person.

Panellist 2:

I’m really grateful and thank God that I’m here to speak to the people today. My name is Mrs Amoiti Rose the headmistress of Busesa mixed primary school in Bugweri district.

Moderator:

Thank you! madam Amoiti! Let’s hear from the last gentleman 

Panellist 3:

Thank you! moderator. My name is Wairagala Godfrey from Bulanga primary school and I work as the school management.

Moderator:

We recently looked at the roles and responsibilities of teachers, we also looked at the roles of parents. Last week we were here with Mr. Balondemu Simon and we were discussing with three panellists about the roles and responsibilities of parents. This involved two teachers and one member of a school foundation body. 

Today we are going to discuss about the roles and responsibilities of head teachers in a school. Reflecting on the days before lock down, what roles did you use to carry out while at school. Mrs Amoiti tell us of your responsibilities.

Panellist 2:

Thank you very much. I used to have a very busy day while at school because I’m the overall driver of the school activities. I lead the institution to see that all activities move in a proper way. I therefore prefer to start my day while at school. By exactly 7:00am, I report to school and be there to welcome everyone at school. I welcome the teachers, the pupils and some parents who come in to visit the school.

On a bad day, especially on rainy days or very cold days, I do not sit in my office but, walk out to the gate to appreciate some of the pupils who decide to walk in the cold weather to come to school. This motivates them to reach school and do all the tasks that they find there. 

Moderator:

When do you always welcome them? 

Panellist 2:

I always welcome them very early in the morning at around 7:00am. I spend there over 30 minutes to an hour. This motivates the pupils that they are welcome in the school and take on their tasks happily. Everyone at school has a responsibility to take on. Some teachers will be on duty, some prefects have duties to take on and the non-staff members also carry on the assigned work very well. I therefore have to carry out supervision and monitoring of the school activities. I spend much of my time monitoring the school activities and less of it in the office attending to some of the visitors.

I also carry out support supervision in the classes especially with teachers to see if what is being taught to the children reaches the syllabus standard and is appropriate. I also find out if all teachers have reported to school and if anyone is absent, I find out why and devise ways of assisting the teacher in case of the need for assistance. 

We move on like that throughout the day following our termly work plan for the school. When the weekly timetable reads meetings with different authorities in the school, I hold them and reach out to our meeting targets.

Moderator:

Which activity keeps you so busy throughout the week?

Panellist 2:

I mostly carry out counselling and guidance to both the teachers and the pupils. I may find a teacher lost in thoughts maybe under a tree, I talk to him/her find out his/her problem and assist on how to handle it. The same applies to the pupils. In my school, I do more of monitoring because I cannot engage in teaching since the school has a very big population of about 2402 pupils. I used to teach primary four but could no longer have time for teaching and resorted to monitoring and supervising. It the most densely populated school around Busoga region. 

Moderator:

It is indeed a very big school.

So when COVID broke out, how did your roles and responsibilities in the school change.

Panellist 2:

COVID 19 brought a lot of panic especially when it led to the abrupt closure of schools. This created a lot of fear and disrupted our work and communication with the teachers, parents and the pupils was blocked. Everybody took a different direction, following the news about the COIVID 19 deaths in the neighbouring countries.

Moderator:

What activities have you been doing during this COVID 19 period that have changed from that of the early days.

Panellist 2:

We had to change the trend of teaching when the government sent some of the learning materials. This required us to move down to the villages and check on the pupils in their respective homes. We could therefore check on some of the pupils especially those that live in shorter distances within the school community. 

Some of the teachers went to do some other businesses because they had to survive. Since it was raining, I encouraged my teachers to plant food crops so as to access to food. They planted fast growing crops and as well helped some children in learning especially those who are nearby.

I also took initiative to communicate and meet with some of the teachers because we needed to collaborate.

Moderator:

When schools resume in January and all pupils return, what have you planned for this school’s resumption.

Panellist 2:

We are really ready for January and since most of the children have resorted to other businesses, we are ready to counsel them and remind them of their coming back to school and that we are going to have a lot of work to cover. The work load is going to be much and the children also have to be ready to learn. I also talked to the teachers already since we have partially opened schools for the candidates. I called them upon to prepare for a double work load. The government has been paying them while at home and they have to pay back too.

We are also going to meet the parents class wise and discuss how to handle the children. They have heard enough of their children and were able to learn that a teacher is a very important person in the world. We shall therefore remind them that when we need the school requirements, they should not relax behind but work hard to provide them to the children.

I have already discussed with the teachers that we are going to have extra lessons from 7:00am to 5:30 am. This will help us on the coverage of two years in one year.

 

Moderator:

Thank you very much madam Amoiti.

Mr. Lukolobe, you have been listening to madam and heard of how she handles her days at school. We would love to hear from you about the different activities you do in your school. Tell us about the different things you are doing as a head teacher, on how you used to handle the school as of now and then before the COVID 19 outbreak.

Panellist 1:

Thank your madam!

Whenever it could get to morning before the COVID 19 outbreak, I would report to school at exactly 06: am. I needed to supervise the late coming of some of the pupils and the teachers as well. Whenever they could find me there, they would not come late the following day. 

Before the pandemic, I had a population of 1200 pupils. We would have remedial lessons from 7:30am to 5:30 pm to see that the children learn more of what they have to. 

I would also monitor the work of the teachers in the classes especially their lesson plans. The school has a feeding program and this called for my supervision to see if all was well. 

I love teaching and I also joined teaching after seeing that all was moving on well in the school.

Moderator:

Which class do you teach?

Panellist 1:

I teach primary six and primary seven.

Moderator:

At the moment when COVID 19 has distorted the normal running of the schools, which activities are you taking on?

Panellist 1:

When the pupils went to the villages, they came back when the disciplines had deteriorated. I therefore have to allocate time for guiding the children and remind them of the importance of education. They have to know the reason as to why they come to school.

Moderator:

How have you been talking to them because most of them are not at school?

Panellist 1:

I mostly talk to those who have resumed school.

Moderator:

How about those that are still at home, how have you helped them?

 

Panellist 1:

For those who are still at home, I have laid a strategy of communicating with them. We collaborate with the teachers to reach these pupils in their homes. We organise village classes of about 20 pupils who stay nearby and teach them. We normally meet them from around 2:00pm to 4:00pm and teach them a few aspects such that they do not go astray especially the girls.

Moderator:

 When schools open and all pupils are back in school, which plans do you have to see that you cover up the loss suffered during this period when they are closed?

Panellist 1:

We are planning that when schools resume, we shall have to firstly bring on board all the pupils since their minds have been mixed up with a number of things. We will have to counsel and guide them such that they bring back their minds to the classes. The same applies to the teachers because most of them have been taken up by businesses and farming. We have a task to remind them of their job in school.

We also have to call meetings with the parents to remind them that the children have to report back in schools such that we awaken their responsibility of providing school requirements for the pupils.

Moderator:

Thank you very much.

Mr. Wairagala Godfrey, you have listened to madam Amoiti and Mr. Lukolobe. We would like you to tell us as a head of the school management committee, what roles do you have in Bulanga primary school.

Panellist 3:

Thank you very much madam.

As a head of the school management committee, you have to see that the school reopening moves on well. You have to be around on the reopening day to see whether the pupils and the teachers have reported back to school.

I have to move on and find out whether the teachers are teaching the pupils.

Moderator:

How do you find out that?

Panellist 3:

As a school manager, you have to find out from the head teacher whether the teachers report to school on time. I have a task to check the teachers’ arrival book to see those teachers who report late and those who dodge coming to school. I also have to walk out to the classes to check on the enrolment of the pupils in the classes.

I also have to find out whether the teachers have enough food at school. Some head teachers are very complicated and do not feed their teachers in a proper way. However, my head teacher is very good and collaborative with the teachers and feeds them well at school. She also gives them some small prizes like soap on Fridays. 

Moderator:

That is really good. 

So, how has this COVID 19 period affected your work as a school management committee.

Panellist 3:

This COVID 19 outbreak brought about a number of setbacks in the school’s programs. We had started on the fencing project of our school and we were soliciting funds from our parents. But, this program was distorted and cut off when the disease broke out. 

It has also had a very bad impact on the pupils especially on the girls who are rampantly getting pregnant and the boys who are resorting to sugar cane cutting in the villages. This has greatly affected us as a school management committee.

Moderator:

What plans have you laid down that when schools resume, you can cover up the damages brought on the pupils. 

Panellist 3:

Since the government has allowed girls who are pregnant to resume studying, we shall allow such girls to come and study.

We shall also have the task to collect some maize from the pupils and the milling fee such that the pupils feed while at school. We will also have to collect some fees for extra lessons to see the teachers attend to these pupils even after normal classes.  

Moderator:

Ok, thank you very much.

Madam Amoiti, we recently talked about the roles of teachers and found out there has been an increased relationship between the teachers and the parents. You have also mentioned that a few activities have changed that you have to move out to the villages and check on the pupils in their homes. How has this improved your relationship with the parents.

Panellist 2:

The improved relationship between parents and teachers has been as a result of the coming of COVID 19. When the parents so that keeping the children at home is a very big task, they relaxed and accepted that the teachers have been playing a big role. They started appreciating the teachers and improved their relationship with them.  Since parents are doing the work of teachers in the school, they have to collaborate with them to see that the work of teaching is successful. Parents also seek advice on some children who are indiscipline. We therefore expect maximum cooperation with the parents if they don’t change their attitude. 

Moderator:

Thank you madam Amoiti.

Mr Lukolobe, you find that there has been a good working relationship between the teachers and the parents but the disciplines of the children have deteriorated. What do you say about that because you have told us that you have a big role of guiding the children? 

Panellist 1:

Thank you very much.

I’m very lucky that my school is situated at a catholic parish and my parish priest is also playing a very big role in imparting discipline and religion in the children especially from around 5:00pm to 6:00pm. 

The pupils also see that the parents are working hand in hand with the teachers. The parents should take their responsibility to continue with the work of guiding the children. The challenge we are facing is that some parents are tired of their children and are already asking of when schools ought to resume. 

The parents learnt of the big role teachers play with the children at school. Therefore, they should not just send the children to school but prepare and guide them first. We are therefore calling upon all the parents, teachers and religious leaders to speak the same language in imparting discipline in the children for them to achieve better education.

Moderator:

 Thank you very much.

Mr. Wairagala, you have clearly heard how the collaboration between teachers and parents is flowing. As the school management committee how have you joined this trend in supporting the children.

Panellist 3:

It is really good that the head teachers, teachers and parents are collaborating and we are doing the same. Before the COVID 19 outbreak, parents would despise the work of the teachers but, they have now understood the value of a teacher since they have seen the hard task of controlling the children.

Moderator:

Our dear listeners, we will be going for a short break and we will be sharing with you via calls. For ladies will call on 0393216518, and gentlemen on 0757906906,0776999906 and share with us. You can also share your views on Facebook, Elevate the partners for education.

Advert:

Moderator:

Yes, the wisdom to improve learning lies within us. I welcome you back from that short break and we are going to receive calls as we share about the responsibilities of the school management committee. Call on 0757906906 or 0776999906 and ladies on 0393216518.  

Caller 1:

It is true we have realised that the teachers have been playing a very big role and we are now facing a very big challenge of controlling the children.

 

Caller 2:

My name is Bwamika Ronald from Luuka. The children’s behaviours have deteriorated and since they have stayed in the villages for long. They no longer listen to their parents. We therefore request the concerned authorities to open up schools so that the children can resume studying.

Moderator:

You have heard that the discipline of the children has deteriorated as we earlier discussed about it. Mr. Lukolobe, what do you say about that because the parent is suggesting that pupils should go back to school soon yet the government has only accepted the candidates to report back due to the prevailing COVID 19 situation.

Panellist 1:

Dear parents, we are requesting that you should not avoid the children because they are your own. Continue talking to your children. I personally took an initiative to talk to the LC 1 chairperson and told him to involve directly in upbringing together with the community. The stake holders in the villages should get involved and find ways of helping the children. You can organise village classes in the evenings to keep the children busy with learning during this period.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 3:

My name is Maka Samuel from Kidera. I would like to appreciate the work of the teachers because they have enunciated very well. I have a challenge that my child was meant to resume school but, I found out that she was pregnant and registration had been completed. Is it possible for her to be enrolled in any other school?

Moderator:

Madam Amoiti, you have told us that you are good at guiding and counselling. Tell something to that parent.

Panellist 2:

The parent should not lose hope because that child did not die. He should reach out to the nearby schools and find out if they can enrol his child. The registration process has been extended for a few days that am not sure of. The child will be registered because the ministry has accepted schools to allow pregnant girls.

I also encourage the parents to teach their children how to pray. Praying is key to discipline. They should also teach the children of how to cook and peel so as to train them in the informal bit of education.

Moderator:

Thank you very much madam.

Let’s hear from another caller.

 

Caller 4:

My name is Bosco Mark from Mayuge district. I would like to appreciate those teachers in the studio.

Moderator:

Can you please talk about the role of the parents and their responsibilities?

Caller 4:

The parents have really neglected their responsibilities over their children especially the girls. As parents, it is our responsibility to take proper care of the children. Thank you very much.

Caller 5:

My name is Farouk from Kanoni. I would like to thank those teachers for the knowledge they have given us. I have really learnt the role of a teacher. The challenge we have realised is that taking control of the children at home is quite difficult. If it wasn’t this COVID 19 the schools would be opened and pupils report back. I just want to encourage the parents to continue guiding the children especially during this period when the politicians are also holding their campaigns. This period is really dangerous because many people are losing lives.

Moderator:

The callers are stressing about the disciplines of the children. But, we were looking at the roles of head teachers in a school. However, let’s comment about this burning issue of the children’s disciplines.

Panellist 1:

One English workshop says that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Therefore, the parents should engage the children in small family projects that are productive. You should not over work them but assign them what they can afford.

Moderator:

Tell them some words of hope since they are hopeless during this period.

Panellist 1:

The parents should accept the situation and allow to live with COVID 19. It is not going now and we should continue with our work.

Moderator:

Let me attend to the last call.

Caller 6:

I would like to appreciate the teachers in the studio. We are however having a very big challenge with the schools especially in situations where they require us to clear first terms school fees. The financial situation is not favourable at the moment and we therefore request the school head teachers to handle this situation with much consideration. I also encourage the parents to also learn that education is the key to success. The collaboration with the teachers should also remain consistent throughout for better achievements.

 

Moderator:

Madam Amoiti please give the parents and the pupils some words of hope.

Panellist 2:

I would like to inform the parents that COVID 19 is a disease and we should learn to live with it. The people should follow the standard operating procedures of washing hands, wearing masks and sanitizing so as to continue living in the existence of the disease.

Moderator:

Thank you very much.

Mr. Wairagala, which message do you have for the listeners as a head of the school management committee.

Panellist 3:

I encourage the parents to keep their children busy with domestic work. For we used to do a lot of house chores. 

I also want to inform you that there have been so many diseases that attacked people just like COVID 19. There has been plague, gonorrhoea, HIV/AIDS and many others. COVID 19 is just a flu and it has taught us more of being hygienic.

 Moderator:

Thank you very much.

Mr. Lukolobe tell us your last remarks and send greetings to two people.

Panellist 1:

My message to the community is that they should take education as a serious issue and should send back the children to school when they resume. 

Moderator:

Send greetings to two people.

Panellist 1:

I greet the entire staff of Buluguyi primary school and our parish priest. 

Moderator:

Madam Amoiti, give your last remarks.

Panellist 2:

 I would like to inform the people that COVID 19 came to teach us how to work and be productive.

I would also want to inform the parent who talked about the school fees issue that he should approach the school head teacher and talk to him. I believe that he will be listened to.

Moderator:

Send greetings to two people.

Panellist 2:

I send greetings to the entire staff of Busesa mixed. Some of the teachers in other schools have not yet returned in schools but my teachers are available and taking on their work effectively.

I also greet my family – my husband and my children.

Moderator:

Please send greetings to two people and give your last remarks.

Panellist 3:

Thank you very much.

I send greetings to my head mistress madam Namukose Florence and the entire staff. My message goes to the parents and the pupils that they should collaborate with the teachers to find solutions to any challenges concerning learning.

Moderator:

What I have learnt from today’s program is that you cannot carry on anything alone. The success of our children’s learning should be collective efforts of different people. Like, the head teachers, the teachers, parents and other stake holders.

During this period, the responsibility of a parent has increased that he/she has to carry on the work of teaching. They therefore have to work hand in hand with the teachers to see learning a success. You should work hand in hand with other stake holders in the school like the PTA, foundation bodies

I would like to thank Elevate for supporting this program to see it take place every Saturday. 

You can reach out to Elevate and air your views on numbers 0782933243. Next Saturday we will be here with Mr. Balondemu Simon as our moderator. I thank Busoga one for allowing us to be hear, our dear callers and the listeners at large.

I greet the people of Community Concerns Uganda, my lovely parents and the people of Mayuge, Luuka and Kaliro districts that thank you for promoting education. 

The wisdom to improve learning lies within us.

                 Stay well stay safe.