Talk 7: On Schools Engaging Students at Home

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Talk Show Held on 31st / 10/2020 on Busoga One 90.6Fm

Moderator: Nakirya Brenda Doreen

Panelist 1: Kalyebi Eria Teacher (Bugweri District)

Panelist 2:  Were Isiah Municipal Eduction Officer (Bugweri District)

MODERATOR: 

My name is Nakirya Brenda Doreen and back again in the studio at exactly midday and taking you through up to 1:00pm on Busoga one 90.6 FM. I would like to thank Elevate for sponsoring this show. Once again, I work with Community concerns Uganda, partnering with Twaweza and Elevate  partners for education. I have moved with my other colleagues and they are going to introduce themselves to you.

Panellist 1:  I’m really glad to be here today and to have moved along with you Miss Nakirya. My name is Kalyebi Eria from Busesa Mixed day and boarding primary school and am here to discuss about the learning of the children. 

Moderator:

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

Panellist 2:

Thank you Brenda. My name is Were Isaiah the Municipal Education Officer from Bugiiri municipality. I’m here to discuss about the learning of children to help our nation to remain powerfulListen attentively and prepare to ask questions.

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Last Saturday, we were here with Mr. Balondemu Simon as the moderator. We are here to continue emphasising the learning of the children especially during this period. There was a parent from Bwonda, a teacher from Bulanga primary school and another teacher from Butongole primary school. They discussed about a number of things among them they said that some schools give out prizes like books, school uniform, bursary to the first five winning pupils keep them motivated ato continue learning and working hard. The teachers also said that having a good working relationship l is key. The parents being friends with the children  also motivate a lot the children to continue learning. 

 Today we are going to look at the different ways which the teachers are using  to keep the children at home engaged even though the candidates are now back at school. So today, we have invited a teacher and a municipal education officer who are going to tell us the ways teachers are assisting our children who are at home.

 

Panellist 1:

Thank you very much for that wonderful topic. How teachers have assisted the children who are still home.  

Teachers have been helpful in so many ways. Teachers have been able to work hand in hand with parents who need assistance for their children by reaching out to them in their homes. 

Teachers move out to families that need assistance and support  the children within for as long as they are following the standard operating procedures of COVID- 19.

Every teacher has to know that covid is there and has to follow the measures while engaging the learners especially when using the papers given out by the government..

Moderator:

Mr. Kalyebi, you have talked about the teachers visiting the children in their homes, during our research we also found out that some teachers are doing exactly that. But you as a teacher , how  have  you been doing it in  your community.

Panellist 1: 

 In Busesa community where I reside, we have a good relationship with the parents and are really playing a good job. Some were able to get the learning materials and some buy newspapers containing the learning materials.  The parents also tell us some of the challenges the children are facing with these learning materials and call upon the teachers to come and assist these children where they have not understood. Some parents also call using mobile phones and ask questions and are given feedback by the teachers. And for those who have smart phones, they send questions to the teachers and the teachers give feedback.

Moderator:

Mr. Were when we carried out research, they told us that the learning materials were not enough, some people didn’t have televisions and radios to listen to learning materials. What other strategies can these teachers use to engage these children who are still at homePanellist 2:

Thank you Brenda, It’s true that there was a big challenge that the abrupt lock down of schools brought about issues. The learning materials which were provided were not enough. But the fact is that the government tried and gave papers the first around, they were few.. Then it brought the second round and they were also not enough. 

The Government showed us what we are supposed to do. The children were home and not studying, we had to encourage parents who had not got the learning materials to go to the photocopying place and buy those materials with the small costs that were required. The government also requires to work hand in hand with the parents and have the children learn that’s why it required them to photocopy the materials. Therefore, the exams are going to be set from these learning materials to find out if the parents took initiative to support their children while at home. This is because the parents are the owners of the children and no one is going to support them without your hand. The local leaders like LC1 should also get involved in this struggle to see that you groom educated people in the community. The CDOs are also very crucial in the community and we therefore request you to encourage people take the children to school. 

The religious leaders are also called upon to tell their followers about the importance of education because once a Christian in the church cannot read and write, it is very difficult to preach to him/her and understands. Teaching is not only for the teachers but for each and every one of us. I also call upon the health officers who move around to sensitize the people about the SOPs to also emphasize learning amongst the community. For the children themselves, you should take learning as an issue since we can only tell you about it and you have to commit in yourselves. The key stakeholders like teachers in the communities, parents, Local leaders, Community Development Officers, religious leaders, they should support their communities to be learning

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Mr. Kalyebi, you heard from the municipal education officer. All teachers were called upon to be at school. What strategies are you using the role of teaching to the rest of the children who are at home?

Panellist 2:

First and foremost, I would like to inform the parents who are still keeping the candidates at home that schools re opened and registration is ongoing. Do not forget and students end up missing their registration. 

We are continuing to encourage  the parents so that when they learn of anything about education, they should inform their children such that they are aware of what is going on. E.g. alerting them of educative programs running on the radios. The children should be given chance to listen to these learning programs on the radios, or even chance to watch television for those who have them at home. 

In my community,  I go to the church and I request the church leaders to allow me talk to the children about learning during this period and they I also pass small announcements about education informing them that learning is continuing and they have now started to open schools partially and that at any time, schools will open fully. I also encourage them not to lose hope thinking that schools will never open but they will open gradually. I also encourage child to child learning where they will help each other depending on what level they are. The older children can teach the young ones. 

Moderator:

Education Officer, you have talked that education about  Collective participation in the learning of children and that children will be examined in the end of it all. How else can we continue teaching the children as they prepare for the reopening of schools? 

Panellist 2:

We have already looked at the different ways but the other way government is encouraging parents to buy newspapers because they have lessons there and these will also be used to set exams of PLE.. The government is improving on the science that everyone should adopt to since we are now living in a scientific world. Therefore, every parent should get involved in the system such that the children continue with learning like listening to the radio, buying the newspapers. We are using scientific measures to teach children like children learning from T.V, radios and Newspapers. There no other ways to teach our children except through these scientific measures so parents are encouraged to use them

Teachers should also get involved in this new system so that they can learn of the new ways of teaching especially those that teach on radios. If teachers don’t want to listen to radios, you will also forget about class teaching since these sessions on the radios are refreshing us. Let everyone refresh on their learning including the parents by listening in.

Moderator:

Our dear listeners we will be going for a short break. But, we will invite callers to ask questions and also give of their discussions  about today’s topic. The numbers are: 0757906906. You can also air your views directly to Elevate website.

Break

Caller 1:

My name is Gideon from Iganga. My question goes to those panellists that how sure are they that the children are learning on the radios and that they understand what is taught there?

Moderator:

The parent is asking which assurance do we have that the children are learning. Mr. Kayebi, what do you have to answer?

Panellist 2:

The fact is that the children are learning especially those who have access to the radios, televisions and other learning materials. The candidates at school are asking us questions from what they were learning from the radios and also papers.

Panellist 1:

At the moment, I have met with candidates in the school and they have already started asking us about questions on what they came across in the learning materials. I’m therefore assured that some of the children have been learning and they have even been able to bring their newspapers to the school for marking and revision.

Moderator:

Mr. educational officer, on behalf of the government, which assurance do you have  to prove that the children are/were learning?

Panellist 2:

My dear teacher has already told us here that the P.7 candidates carried the learning materials with them for revision while at school. The candidates brought the materials and questions which they had to the teachers at school. 

The other thing is that, if that person is able to listen to this program, there are many others who have the same capability. And the way he is able to understand what is going on in this program is the same way others can listen and understand.

Moderator:

Ok let’s hear from this caller.

Caller 2:

I’m Andrew from Namayingo. The fact is that when you are discussing a topic, obviously you have to support it. But, the fact is that the young children could not understand what was being taught.

Caller 3:

I’m Ayubu from Kaliro district. If someone is listening and is to understand, he/she is capable of understanding. And for any bright child, they are capable of listening to the radio and understand.

Moderator:

This means that the children are learning and for those who understand are capable of understanding unlike their opposite counterparts. During our research, some parents commented that their children were not understanding what was being taught on the radios and T.Vs, what do you say about it?

Panellist 1:

I would like to conquer with previous caller. That if a child listens carefully, he/she is capable of understanding. The challenge is that some parents want to assume for the children that they did not understand. All I want to encourage the parents is to spare time for the children to listen to the learning sessions on the radios. This is because the children in p.1 are capable of picking p.1 work, the same applies to the p.7 candidates.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from another caller. Thank you for calling, tell us you name and where you are calling from and then let’s have a discussion about the topic

Caller 4:

I’m Serunjoji. My question is that here in my locality, there are homes that have no radios, televisions and any other communication gadgets. How have the educational officers in our community helped such people to also benefit from this program.

Moderator:

Mr. Were this question goes to you.

Panellist 2:

That’s Mr. Serunjoji’s opinion but, it seems he has a radio at his home. However, for those that don’t have radios, the only reason as to why the government arranged learning materials and at no cost was them. That why when we were giving them out, we targeted those few that don’t have radios and televisions. This was an alternative for the lowly in the community. 

The other thing is that for that have phones, up to date phones have radios on them and so we can improvise the phones for radio communication. I also encourage the people to be hardworking that if you your children be of value, work hard and devise mechanisms of having your child learn.  The world is moving at a very fast rate so don’t lag behind. Some radios are cheap and if you want your child to have a bright future, you have to put value into your child.

Moderator:

 

Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 5:

Once again I’m Ayubu from Kaliro. I’m really touched on the issue of that parent with neighbours that have children but, don’t have a radio to listen to learning programs. I therefore request to offer 10,000 shs to that family such that they can acquire a small radio such that the children learn.

Moderator:

Thank you very much for that wonderful heart but let’s try to connect and see how you can have that wonderful service delivered.

Caller6:

My name is Musa Magumba from Buvuma. The fact is that here in Buvuma, the learning program has not been easy and many have not benefited. Some might have benefited but, a few in the trading centres and those in deep villages did not benefit. But my children are very young and cannot concentrate unless with tight supervision. 

Moderator:

Ok let’s hear from Mr. Kalyebi as he tells us how else we can have the young ones learn.

Panellist 1:

Our dear listeners let’s try to do our best that when you are not capable of watching your children learn because of different duties. You can have a good relationship with your neighbours and can help you supervise your children while at home. Your children can also learn together with the neighbour’s. 

Caller 7:

I’m kairas from Nalukoo. The education system has also deteriorated a lot due the fact that a child cannot write down something from the radio when he/she can’t spell it. 

Moderator:

Mr. Were, respond to the caller who commented that the education system has also deteriorated.

Panellist 2:

That’s true, if something is wrong, there is the other thing which is right. So what education system is right according to him. As I earlier told you we are all teachers. If you assume that the education system is wrong, can you please tell us the other bit of it because that is what we are following as per now. May be we will have to find out what exactly should be done. We strongly believe in the program we are following with a designed curriculum and trained teachers. The ministry recently introduced the Early grade reading which helps the young children to read in the local language and in English.

Moderator:

Ok let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 8

I’m Martin from Kibbinga. Are the children in lower classes like p.6 going to also be examined from what they have been learning?

Moderator:

Mr. Were respond to that.

Panellist 2:

Teachers do not examine students of what they didn’t teach. That’s why we are struggling to inform you and encourage you to help your children continue with learning during this period.

Moderator:

Ok let’s talk to another caller.

Caller 9:

The fact is that the children are not benefitting because the children do not have direct interaction with the teachers. 

Moderator:

Mr. Kalyebi do you have a respond for the caller?

Panellist 1:

That parent should understand that situations change depending on the prevailing conditions. So let’s change from the analogue to the digitalised world and come to believe to that children can learn and be examined with what they learn on radios.

Panellist 2:

Parents should also know that all this came up because of the situation and no one was ready for it. Let’s cope up with the situation and the government will also play its part. 

Let’s start thinking about bringing back the children to school. All we emphasize is that the little the children are getting is just enough and should continue teaching them.

Moderator:

Let’s have this one as our last caller.

Caller 10:

I’m Tenywa Assad from Bugaya. Here, our children had taken time without listening to radios and watching televisions. But, the candidates have not resumed school. Will they be able to perform in the next exams?

Panellist 2:

I would like to remind the education department in Bugaya- Buyende district that schools have resumed and it’s their role to tell the children to report back to school for learning to continue.

Moderator:

As we wind up, Mr. Kalyebi give your last remarks to the listeners and the teachers out there.

Panellist 1:

I call upon the teachers because we are the basis of education. Let’s build a good relationship amongst the parents because we serve the same role in educating the child. Let the teachers be approachable in helping the children to learn.

Moderator:

Send greetings to two people.

Panellist 1:

I greet my lovely wife Florence Kalyebi and my lovely head teacher Mrs. Rose.

Moderator:

Mr. Were give your last remarks to the community out there.

Panellist 2:

Thank you Brenda. I would like to thank the management for Busoga one radio for hosting us. I would like to remind the people of Busoga that the trend has now changed and the children are learning at a very first rate especially through the early grade reading. Im requesting the teachers to concentrate on teaching to help the children learn and perform.

Moderator:

Greet two people.

Panellist 2:

I greet my lovely wife Sheunda Were the director of shalom junior school Bugiiri, my dear friends and my children. Scovia the head teacher Shalom primary school. And my dear inspect Madam Biryeri.

Moderator:

 I would like to thank our dear listeners that continue tuning in Busoga one. We hope to be here next Saturday. To air your views to Elevate, call on 0782933294, I would like to thank Elevate for sponsoring this talk showus. I send my greetings to all colleagues at Community Concerns Uganda and My Dear Parents in Magamaga.