Talk 4: Schools, Teachers, Supporting Learning

---- Transcript -----

Talk Show Held On 19th/09/2020 on Busoga One 90.6Fm

Moderator: Nakiirya Breanda Doreen

Panelist 1: (Bukye Edward Headteacher Iganga District)

Panelist 2: (Nekesa Beatrice Teacher Bugiiri District)

Panelist 3: (Kalimulino Zephaniah Parent Kaliro District)

MODERATOR: 

Our dear listeners, you are really welcome together with our visitors in the studios. My name is Nakiirya Brenda Doreen. We were with you last weekend on Saturday and we were looking at child labour as our main topic. We found out that there is a lot of child labour yet children have to continue with learning. We invited here two teachers who are at the same time parents. One of the parents told us that they are engaging in income generating activities that can be run from within homes. The other parent told us that there is need to have a designed time table which the children have to follow so as to spare time for learning. Those are some of the things that we discussed last Saturday. 

Today, we are going to discuss on the ways in which the head teachers and teachers are helping the children learn during this period.

I would like to thank Elevate for facilitating this talk show to see it a success.

I have not moved alone but along with me, I have moved with a teacher, a head teacher and a parent. They are going to introduce themselves to you, their names and where they are coming from. I invite all parents to listen attentively together with their children. When time comes for asking questions via phone calls, you can as well allow the children to call and ask questions. 

Our dear parent please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from and your school community.

Parent:   

Thank you madam moderator for inviting us to radio….

Moderator:

Radio Busoga one 90.6 FM

Parent:

On Radio Busoga one. My name is Zephaniah Kalimulino. I have come to share a conversation on what we are going to learn today.

 

Moderator:

Ok Zephaniah let’s hear from our teacher.

Teacher:

I would like to thank the moderator and Radio Busoga FM for inviting us to the studio. My name is Nekesa Beatrice from Buluguyi primary school, Buluguyi sub county, Bugiiri district Butema village. I would like to appreciate Elevate for giving us this chance to come to Busoga FM. People who are tuned in, listen attentively to this program concerning the learning of our children and the ways we are handling them in the villages. Thank you very much.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from the other person.

Head teacher:

Thank you very much madam moderator. Iam Bukye Edward from Nakalama village, Nakalama sub county, Iganga district. Iam posted there as a head teacher of Nakalama primary school. I would like to thank Elevate for this arrangement especially during this lock down. It is really great because it helps us to share ideas here and there. I call upon all our listeners that listen and call to ask questions as we continue sharing for the good of our children.

Moderator.

Thank you very much. I want to remind you that am Nakiirya Brenda Doreen, I work with Community Concerns Uganda in Mayuge and Jinja- Wairaka where our Offices are located. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the children are now seated at home and learning from there. Today, we are going to look at the ways in which teachers and head teachers are helping out these children to learn. As we earlier did research with Elevate, we found out that some children are learning.

Mr. Zephaniah can you please tell us some of the ways in which this is being practically done in your home area.

Parent:

Thank you very much. In our home area in Kaliro district, the children are not learning. We heard that children are going to learn using radios but these radios are scarce in the different homes and therefore some children are not learning. There are no teachers who are reaching out to us to help the children.

Moderator.

Mr. Zephaniah, you have said that the radios are scarce and always break down. Can you please tell us of any other ways the children are learning during this period?

Parent:

The challenge that I have personally is that there are high levels of poverty that I cannot acquire or maintain a radio. The other issue is that I also use that radio even while in the garden. I come back from the garden when time for learning is out. Since am uneducated, I cannot also explain whatever is taught on the radio to the children. This makes it difficult for them to learn. Except for a few teachers who are guiding their own children but not all.

Moderator:

What you mean is that there is a teacher who helps out his/her children to learn.

Parent:

Yes, I have so far found one teacher who does that.

Moderator:

Madam Nekesa tell us something. You have heard Zephaniah telling us that he cannot teach his children. But, as a teacher, tell us.

Teacher:

As a teacher of Buluguyi primary school, we held a meeting and the head teacher told us to set tests and give out to the primary seven pupils. They pick the tests, work them out and bring back for marking. We have so far done this for over four months.

Moderator:

Throw more light about this arrangement.

Teacher:

The pupils come to the school and pick the tests. They work on them, bring back and take other packages. 

Moderator:

Do you mean the children find you there?

Teacher:

The children find the work with the teacher who is living within the school full time.

Moderator:

Mr. head teacher, tell us something, you have heard of what the others are speaking about. How are you playing this role in Nakalama?

 

Head teacher:

Thank you madam moderator, we know very well that COVID 19 is a new disease. No one was ready for it but we had to immediately respond to the directives that was given of sending the children back to their homes. The government took the initiative of providing learning materials. Through the PTA (parents Teachers Association), we encouraged the parents to pick the work for the children to do it.

Moderator:

How did you meet with the parents to encourage them do that?

Head teacher:

In my school community, I have an active chairperson PTA whom I phone called and informed him to move around and inform our parents to pick the learning materials. It required me to follow up which I did together with him. The materials were few and could not cover every one. We however encouraged them to photocopy and give to the children. This was not enough but I mobilised some of my teachers and asked them to move around and find out if the children had gotten the learning materials.

Moderator:

Did you hold a meeting with these teachers? Explain more about that.

Head teacher:

During this period, meetings are not allowed but I personally approached the teachers and asked them to move around since some of stay within the school premises.

However, we could not cover all the children due to the big numbers. We therefore opted out to setting work depending on the classes coverage and gave out to the children. This was aimed at not leaving the children idle during this COVID 19 pandemic.

Moderator:

That is really good. Thank you head teacher.

Mr. Zephaniah please tell us, have heard anything of the sort in your home area. You heard him speaking about following up the children up to their homes. Was that seen anywhere I your area. Add on that.

Parent:

I just thank this head teacher for taking his responsibility. In our school community of Nabigwali primary school. The teachers have not taken their responsibility of following up the children in the homes. And the learning of children in our area is minimal except for those who have teachers with their homes.

Moderator:

Madam Nekesa you can add on something.

Teacher:

Thank you Moderator. In Buluguyi the learning materials were posted in local councils. But now days they are no longer bringing. However, the challenge is that the children have lost interest in learning and even spend most of the time in gardens. They look after rice gardens and are cultivating rice gardens since we are near the Tilda rice scheme. 

Moderator:

But as a teacher, how are you helping your children and those in your neighbourhoods.

Teacher:

As a teacher, I encourage those parents listening to us through this radio to motivate fellow parents to tell the children to listen to the radio. The government’s program of learning on radios is continuing.

Moderator:

Mr. head teacher throw more light about what the teacher is talking about. There was a challenge that the learning materials were few. Did you find that challenging?

Head teacher.

That challenge was almost everywhere but, it depends on how you approach the parents to convince them to photocopy though the incomes were low. The other

Challenge was that they focussed on a few aspects which forced us to add on the work.

Moderator:

When these teachers were giving out the work, were they marking these activities?

Head teacher:

They could make programs for distributing the work and even collecting it for marking to avoid these children form moving and reducing the risk of contacting the COVID 19 disease.

We really want to thank the Chairperson PTA who has been instrumental in this struggle. However, there are those few parents who are not on the same track with us.

Moderator:

Which other ways can you tell us other than listening to the radio, can Mr. Zephaniah tell us that the children are learning.

Parent:

Thank you madam. I would like to speak my local language. My children are not learning because I told you that am an illiterate and cannot explain anything to the children.

Moderator:

During our research we did with Elevate, we encountered with illiterate parents but gave us situations where there tell their children to at least revise their work they had covered in the books, or to be guided by their friends or even with the help of their elders. Please tell us if you have had chance upon this. 

Parent:

What challenged me was that the elder child who could guide the younger ones was not around and has just returned to assist them in one way or other. Only that she is also younger and just in primary four.

Moderator:

When this child was still at the aunt’s place, did you try to find out if he/she was learning during that period.

Parent:

I called and found out that she could revise her books together with his/her colleague at home.

Moderator:

Alright thank you very much. Madam Nekesa you must have heard about that parents’ view on how he goes with his radio to the garden but cannot explain what was taught on the radio to his children. What else can you add on to tell this/ other parents on how else they can help their children to learn during this lock down.

Teacher:

Thank you madam moderator, as a teacher of Buluguyi primary school, I advise the parents who can approach teachers, to find them and seek assistance for the children. The teachers will help your children. For the people of Buluguyi, I appreciate the whites who are assisting the children around.

Moderator:

Do they teach them?

Teacher:

They give them packages which is worked upon from homes. One of neighbour’s child was given work and I assisted her. I there encourage the teachers near Buluguyi to help the children.

Moderator:

Ok thank you very much:

Let’s hear from Edward.

Head teacher:

We have encouraged the parents to at least buy the learning packages in Bukedde newspapers and sacrifice at least 1000shs for their children.

They should also be close contacts to the teachers to at least reach out to them for assistance for the children.

We also encourage the parents to have fixed programs in homes to enable the children have time to learn.

Moderator:

Alright thank you very much sir, I request we have a short break and we will continue to hear from you by receiving your calls. You will call on numbers: 0776999906, airtel: 0757906906.

Commercial break.

Advert:

Moderator:

Our dear listeners, we welcome back from that short break. We are going to receive calls as we continue sharing about today’s topic. You are going to call on numbers: 0776999906, Airtel: 0757906906.

Caller 1:

This is Menya George Kakaire head teacher Budondo Primary school in Luuka district. I recently attended a talk show over issues concerning the learning of children. I appreciate Elevate over the efforts they are making to make the parents aware of the children’s learning during this period. What I have observed in our home area is that parents have relaxed and forgotten that the lock down will come to an end child will go back to school. The fact that the parents are not their responsibility to cater for their children has been a great effect. I therefore encourage the parents to spare time for their children to at least learn something. And for parents who claim to be illiterates, encourage the children to listen to what is being taught on radios.

Moderator:

Thank you sir.

Caller 2:

My name is Wadidi from Bukoto B, my suggestion is that the children especially in villages are not learning but what I encourage the parents who can read to engage their children.

Moderator:

Thank you sir. 

Moderator:

Let us comment about that shortly.

Head teacher

Parents should apply the indigenous mode of education where parents collaborate with the teachers to see the children learn. Parents should help their children with small assignments since most of the parents for this regime are learnt and can give any kind of assistance.

Moderator:

Thank you very much. 

Caller 3:

My name is Okurut. For people who are living within the landing sites, we are having a very big challenge that even the teachers have resorted to fishing and therefore makes it difficult for the children to benefit from them.

Moderator:

As a parent living within the landing site, what are you doing to help your children to learn?

Caller 4:

 I’m engaging my children personally since I can at least read and write but this is still not enough for them. Advise us accordingly.

Caller 5:

This is Derrick from Bulopa. I just want to appreciate your service.

Caller 6:

I’m Joseph from Mbulamuti.  I still add on that parents should mind but engaging their children. The other thing is that parents are leaving their children idle and loitering around trading centres.

Moderator:

You have listened to callers and their views. Madam Nekesa what do say about it.

Teacher:

Thank you madam moderator and the people who have called us, thank you for listening to us. My view is that parents should involve the LCs to assist the children who getting lost into fishing. Girls are doing activities that are unfair. 

Moderator:

Thank madam. Mr. Edward do you add on something.

 

Head teacher:

I just want to encourage the teachers especially those in landing sites to spare time for assisting that children. This is because fishing is also crucial at this point but time should be left for other activities to take place.

Moderator:

Mr Zephaniah add something on that

Parent:

Just as I told you that the challenge of illiterate parents remains but I just want to encourage teachers especially those in Kaliro district to come up and assist us.

Moderator:

Thank you Mr. Zephaniah. Let’s hear from another caller and find out how illiterate parents are playing this role.

Caller 7:

I’m Eric from Nankoma Bukooli Bugiiri district. My suggestion is that parent should sit together with their children.

Caller 8: 

I’m Ivan from Nankoma. What I advise my fellow parent who is claiming to be illiterate is to approach teachers who are within the villages to help him teach the children.

Moderator:

Hope you have heard what the caller has said. Mr. Zephaniah hope you have heard that.

Madam Nekesa is adding on something.

Teacher:

 For I’m a teacher and parents approach me at my home to help their children and they really appreciate. Reach out to those teachers and will definitely assist you.

Caller 9:

This is Joseph Mwesigwa. Parents should not claim that they are not learnt because there are so many ways of assisting the children. Like utilising the teachers who are idle in the villages. Create a relationship with them such that they can help your children.

Caller 10:

This is Bosco from Kaliro. I just emphasize that parents should try what the previous caller has said.

Moderator:

Mr. Edward you had something to say.

Head teacher:

I just want to appreciate that parent. Most parents create gaps between the themselves and teachers but they would benefit from the teachers if they create a good relationship with them.

Moderator:

 Thank you sir

Caller 11:

This is Isabirye Joel from Kyeya. We really appreciate that topic. Thank you very much.

Caller12:

You are talking to Kipala Meddie in Mbulamuti. We are looking at approaching teachers but it’s also vital to awaken the children’s discipline.

Caller 13:

I’m calling from Mayuge; parents should coach their children. Here teachers gather a few children in a nearby school and try to teach them.

Caller 14:

I’m just asking a question that, will the children be examined in third term for the learning they are undergoing like on radios.

Moderator:

Head teacher respond to that question.

Head teacher:

It will depend the government program but I just want to encourage the parents to continue with the program which is ongoing as we wait for what is next.

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Mr. Zephaniah can you please comment about the indigenous form of education.

Parent:

I did not get chance to learn about it and therefore have no much idea about it.

Moderator:

Ok that is fine. Madam Nekesa tell us something.

 

Teacher:

 The indigenous teaching was when the parents could sit with their children and teach them on the disciplines of life in the first place and then guide them on what to do especially on issues of formal education.  Take a look at the work they do in their books.

Moderator:

Thank you madam.

However, during our research, we found out that some parents take an extra mile of sitting together with children and continue learning.

Reach out to the idle teachers to help your children. 

Learning does not only involve books but also the disciplines at home which can be taught even by illiterate parents.

Thank you very much our dear listeners. Let’s have the key insights from this conversation as we wind up.  Mr. Zephaniah summarise.

Parent:

What I have learnt is that we should build a strong relationship with teachers. I also encourage the teachers in our locality not to view this in a negative perspective but to come up and assist our children especially the illiterate parents. I request to forgive me where I have made blunders.  I feel sad for the Kaliro people who did not call to ask any questions.

Moderator:

Send greetings to your loved ones.

Parent:

I greet my wife Nangobi Teddy who keeps me and gave birth to a baby yesterday. I’m safe and am coming back. 

Head teacher:

Thank you madam moderator. I would like to encourage the parents to build a relationship with their children, carry out innovative activities that intend to uplift the children’s learning. Look out for options to prepare your children as we wait for schools to re-open. I also encourage the teachers in the villages to assist the children within.

Moderator:

Send greetings to your people.

Head teacher:

I greet the Education office Iganga district, My wife Babirye Sarah and all listeners of Busoga one FM.

 

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Madam Nekesa also tell us your last remarks.

Teacher:

I would like to thank Busoga one FM, Elevate and everyone. I would like to encourage the parents to allow the children to participate in the learning process organised by the government, especially learning on radios. Create time for the children to learn. 

I greet my husband who has allowed me to come and attend this program.

We thank Elevate for this great support. Continue supporting the children’s learning during this Lock down. We thank Busoga one for giving us this chance to always be here. 

I greet my team at Community concerns Uganda.

Thank you very much.