Talk 8: On Communication Between Stakeholders

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Talk Show Held On 7th / 11/2020 on Busoga 1 Fm

Moderator: Balondemu Simon

Panelist 1: Tibaisa Rebecca Parent (Luuka District)

Panelist 2: Mugema Jessy Teacher (Bugiiri District)

Panelist 3: Kange Koasati Susan Head Mistress (Mayuge District)

MODERATOR: 

I’m really grateful to hear from you once again. Your humble servant today is Balondemu Simon in the studios. I would like to thank our funders that’s Elevate the partners for education together with Twaweza Uganda. I’m not alone in the studios, I have colleagues of different categories. As it is well known to you, we are always here with you from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm at Busoga one 90.6FM. We are going to share with you once again. Last Saturday you were here with Miss Nakiirya Brenda and other panellists. There was a municipal education officer Mr. Were Isiah and Mr. Kalyebi Eria and they were sharing views on how best they have helped the learners to continue learning especially as other children are back at school and others have remained in homes. Mr. Were told us that the teachers have continuously gone down to the learners as they continue following the standard operating procedures. They also said that parents reach out to teachers via phone calls to help their children with a few questions they cannot handle depending on the learning materials they were given. They also went ahead and said that some teachers have used the religious platforms to sensitize the community that learning is continuing. And many other issues that were tackled. The municipal education officer reminded us that the learners will be examined when schools fully resume depending on the learning materials that were provided by the government. 

Ladies and gentlemen, those are the people we were sharing ideas with last Saturday and today we have other visitors in the studios. We have a lady who is a parent from Luuka district, a teacher from Bugiiri district and a head teacher from Mayuge district. Allow me to begin with the parent from Luuka. Madam you are most welcome.

Parent:

Mr. moderator I’m really grateful to be here to speak to the nation. My name is Tibaisa Rebecca from Budondo Village and I’m a parent of Budondo primary school.

Moderator:

Thank you madam. Our dear teacher from Bugiiri, introduce yourself to the listeners.

Teacher:

Thank you very much moderator for inviting us in the studios. My name is Mugema Jessy from Bugiiri district Namagonjo primary school.

 

Moderator:

You are most welcome and we call upon the people of Bugiiri to tune in and listen to your teacher. 

Madam head mistress, introduce yourself to the listeners.

Head mistress:

Thank you very much Mr. Simon. My name is Kange Koasati Susan. I have been a head mistress at Maina primary school but was recently transferred to Lutare A parents’ primary school. I’m well known as Nalongo because whenever I give birth, I give birth to three children. 

Moderator:

I need such blessings too. 

Our dear listeners am once again Balondemu Simon. You have heard of the recent panellists and their views. So, today, allow me to introduce to you our topic which says that which strategies have schools put forward in communicating with other stakeholders in helping other children who are still at homes.

Our dear parent, what do you say about this topic as your school community listens to you. Is it relevant for the schools to communicate with stakeholders? But, before we proceed who are the stake holders.

Parent:

Thank you moderator. As a parent, I believe that the first stake holder is the parent, then teachers, the learners, community leaders, religious leaders, the school management committee and the PTA.

Moderator:

Ok the head mistress wants to define the term stake holders.

Head mistress:

What miss Tibaisa has said is true. I would just like to stress that the stake holders are the school management committee members, the PTA, the religious leaders and many others just as she earlier mentioned it.

Moderator:

In a baseline survey we conducted, we found out that the school management committees, the PTA and the religious leaders were fully involved this activity and that’s why we have come up with this topic today that how best can we communicate with such people to see that the children who have remained at home continue learning. I would like to find out from the parent that do you have any child in a candidate class.

Parent:

Yes, I do have one child in a candidate class and is in primary seven.

Moderator:

Which school does the child attend?

 

Parent:

That child is studying from Namutumba district and this is due to the conditions that could not favour her to come and study from here. Though, the fact is that the child has already reported back to school.

Moderator:

What have you identified in this child and even other neighbouring candidates especially during this period when some went back to school yet others are still around.

Parent:

What I have identified from the candidates is that the child is really interested in learning and the only challenge is that there is limited time yet they are going to sit for the exams soon. But, I have always taken time to encourage this child because the teachers also tell me that the child will be able to perform well.

Moderator:

Thank you miss Rebecca. Let’s go back to our topic today and ask a question that is it relevant for there to be communication amongst the stake holders and the parents.

Parent:

Yes Mr. moderator. I see that it is really important.

Moderator:

Ok, in which ways.

Parent:

If we unite together, we can really succeed because I really believe that learning is based on three key people that is the child, the teacher and the parent.

Moderator:

Ok, so how best can you communicate with the fellow parents, teachers and other stake holders to see that they can continue supporting the children as schools remain closed especially for the non-candidates. 

Parent:

First and foremost, allow me appreciate my head teacher of Budondo primary school, Mr. Menya George Kakaire who has been so instrumental together with his team. They have really done a great job in supporting the children especially using the door to door approach that they visit us in the homes, provide some learning materials to the children and encourage us to reach out to nearby teachers for support.

Back to the question, I always encourage my children to sit and listen to radio programs and learn of what is being taught. I also take the responsibility as a parent to find out if the children have been able to pick out anything from the session. I also continue and approach the teachers and seek advise on how to handle the children especially during this period. 

 

Moderator:

I have found out that you are a teacher and the same time a parent. Do you have any different ways in which you are communicating with the stakeholders so as to assist these children?

Parent:

I continuously encourage the children to remain disciplined in the community and also reminding them to continue revising their books every day.

Moderator:

Can you please draw for us a picture of the children you always talk to?

Parent:

I have the eldest child at 15 years old, the other at 13 years old in p.7, one in primary 5 at 12 years old, one in primary two at 8years old and one in p.4 at 10 years old.

Moderator:

You are a true parent because I can see the ages of your children at your fingertips. Wind up in half a minute.

Parent:

I emphasize that the children should behave very well in the community and always remember that learning is still going on. I also call upon other parents to handle their children in the same way since most of these children spend much of their time together.

Moderator:

Ok thank you madam Tibaisa Rebecca from Budondo. Let me reach out to my other visitor in the studio, Mr. Mugema Jessy. You are a teacher from Namagonjo primary school. 

Teacher:   

 Yes, please.

Moderator:

You have been listening to the parent’s story. You also have children at home. Do you think it is really vital for the stake holders to come together?

Teacher:

Once again am a teacher from Namagonjo primary school. Whatever our dear parent from Luuka has said is really good. Child’s learning is facilitated by a number of people. So whenever we teach the children, we need the child itself and the parent’s assistance as well for learning to smoothly move on. The fact that COVID 19 has changed the trend that the children are now staying with their parents. Therefore, the parents have to give in a lot during this period to see that the children fit in the Uganda today.

 

Moderator:

That is a very good point. As teachers and other stake holders, how best can you help the children to continue staying focused on learning this period. 

Teacher:

As a teacher, let me pray and hope that the information we are passing reaches the parents and is put into practise. We need to assist these children since they are now staying with us. I want to appreciate the way we have been handling this issue as Namagonjo primary school with the support from the headmaster – Mr. Mukose Joel. He continuously called us and mobilised us to move to the children’s homes though we could not find some of them there. We have tried to remind them of the government’s program especially the learning sessions on the radios. This has really helped them yet other parents had thought that learning had come to a standstill. Most parents in Bugiiri have been able to implement the issue of listening to radios into practise.

The inspector of schools “Mr. kazungu and Madam Martha” called upon all head teachers of Bugiiri through the different meetings and reminded them of their responsibility especially on how to keep the children up dated.

As teachers, we have tirelessly encouraged the children to learn and that learning is ongoing. We found out that some have been noting down some things and even could find us and ask about what they cannot not really understand. We therefore guide them and encourage them to continue with that spirit such that the next day they can tune in and listen to other sessions.

Moderator:

Lastly, which strategies have you put in place to ensure that there is communication with the stake holders in the school. Like the school management committee, the inspectors and the DEO.

Teacher:

As a school, we have administrators like the head teachers and the deputy who have a specific module on how to handle this. Like reaching out to the parents. The head teacher went ahead and invited the PTA, the teachers and informed us on what to do. Therefore, when he calls me upon and asks me to go and find some children, automatically I have to.  All I encourage the rest of the head teachers out there is to work closely with the chair persons PTA such that they can also help us in this struggle.

Moderator:

Thank you very much Mr. Jessy for those wonderful views. Mrs Kange, you have been so quiet.

Head mistress:

Yeah you had not yet talked to me.

Moderator:

You told us that you were recently transferred from Maina primary school to Lutare A primary school. How have you communicated with those new stake holders?

Head mistress.

I’m trying to connect with these stake holders that whenever there is an issue I have to call them on board and we share ideas on how to handle certain issues concerning the learning of the children.

Moderator:

How easy has it been for you to communicate with these new stake holders?

Head mistress:

When I was transferred, the DEO was able to organise a hand over ceremony from Maina primary school and a welcoming ceremony to Lutare A primary school. Therefore, the key stake holders were invited and this gave me a go ahead in the school. I learnt about them and they learnt about me.

Moderator:

So how have you connected with these people.

Head mistress:

Thank Mr. Simon. It has been easy that I directly collaborate with the chairperson PTA and I can easily call them on board in case there is an issue to discuss.

Moderator:

I would therefore like to know that how has been this collaboration been important in reaching out to the rest of the learners who are not in school now.

Head mistress.

We divided the work that those teachers in charge of teaching the candidates are back in schools and teaching and we have recruited those under the early grade reading to assist the lower class children in the villages. They also have knowledge on children in classes like p.6 and p.5. They therefore go down to the villages and guide these children in their homes such that they do not forget about books completely. 

Moderator:

As a senior teacher in charge of heading schools, which general mode of communication have you put in place to see that the school runs in a proper manner amidst the stakeholders.

Head mistress

We make sure that communication is from the top to the bottom, right from the DEOs where we call directly or send messages to avail information to the necessary people. To the stake holders at the bottom levels, we approach them and talk to them especially the teachers, religious leaders and other lay men.

Moderator:

It seems madam Rebecca has something to put forward. Madam Rebecca do you have anything to add on in two minutes. We have heard that the teachers communicate directly and even go to homes to talk to the children.

Parent:

I would like to conquer with the head mistress on whatever she has said. But, we have forgotten about the key stake holders that is the chair men LC1 ones who have been instrumental in supplying the learning materials. They have really helped the teachers in reaching the homes as they supply these materials.

Moderator:

Mr. Mugema also wants to add on.

Teacher:

The continuous collaboration between the teachers and the parents has helped that the stake holders in far reaching places are able to pass on information to such people leaving in those places. We also use the religious leaders to pass on key words in churches like informing the masses that learning is ongoing.

Moderator:

Head mistress do you have anything to add on?

Head mistress.

To add on that, some information is passed on through the local radio stations in the local centres where we incur some costs to remind the people that learning is continuing. These stations commonly known as “mukalakasa” are very crucial in informing and mobilising the people on different aspects.

Moderator:

Thank you very much our dear listeners for listening to us and we will be going in for a short break and we will be back to listen to your views from out there. You will be calling on numbers 0757906906 or 0776999906. For ladies you can call on 0393216518. You can also air your views on Elevate.ug on twitter or Facebook elevate partners for education. Stay tuned we will be right back.

Commercial break

Moderator:

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening to us and you can now call us to air your views. Call on 07577906906, 0776999906 and for ladies you can call on 0393216518. 

Caller 1:

I’m calling from Mitayi.

Moderator:

Ok he is calling from Mitayi and is appreciating the parent from Luuka. Our dear parent, do you have anything to tell that parent.

Parent:

Thank you Moderator. I would like to thank him for tuning in Busoga one 90.6 FM. All I want to encourage him is to have mutual understanding with the teachers and shouldn’t assume that teachers have the overall duty towards his child because he is the parent of that child and he is responsible for his child.

 

Moderator:

Ok let’s hear from another caller. 

Caller 2:

I’m Kisame Richard from Nabwigulu. All I want to say is that some children are not listening to the radios. All we have to do is to continue encouraging the parents that they continue telling their children about the benefits of education.

Moderator:

Mr. Kisame, I request you to join us in encouraging fellow parents to engage their children in learning.

Mr. Mugema say something.

Teacher:

I would like to thank Mr. Kisame and I would like to request him to play our part in his locality. Let him mobilise fellow parents in Nabwigulu to remind those with radios and televisions to always listen and watch them. All I know as a teacher is that learning is continuing and the children will be examined when they resume schooling.

Moderator:

Mrs. Kange, do you have anything to tell this parent.

Head mistress.

Mr. Richard, I would like to thank you for that information. If you see that you can no longer handle the child, involve other people to help you. Because some children will not listen to you but can easily listen to other people from out.

Moderator:

Thank you! madam Kange. Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 3:

I’m Mr. Muganza Fahad. I would like to appreciate those people who continue to educate our children.

Caller 4:

I’m Daniel from Muguluka. Thank you for educating the masses. 

Moderator:

Mr. Daniel, which strategies are you laying in Muguluka to see that the children learn.

Caller 4:

I believe that when there is a mutual understanding and communication among the parents and the teachers, there will be great improvement on the learning of the children.

 

Moderator:

Madam Kange, tell us more about how you are doing this in your school.

Head mistress:

As schools, we have to hold a strong relationship and clear communication with the stake holders in the school. Like with the administrators, PTAs and other authorities. When the communication amongst the stake holders is not clear, the school cannot run in a proper manner. We have to respect everyone in their ranks because we need each other. The head teacher needs the teachers and the teachers are very crucial in a school.

Moderator:

Mr. Mugema say something.

Teacher:

In all institutions, assigning responsibilities is very important. You cannot handle all responsibilities alone. Therefore, division of responsibilities amongst the stakeholders is very crucial. I would like to thank my head teacher for being very keen on this point and the parents for knowing and respecting our offices.

Moderator:

Madam Tibaisa, say something.

Parent:

As I earlier said, there should be co-operation between teachers and parents since some parents have little knowledge about education. 

Moderator:

Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 5:

I’m Owuma from Namayingo. The biggest challenge is that the radios are very scarce in here and only a few are able to listen to them.

Moderator:

Mr. Mugema, you say something about that.

Teacher:

I can’t hesitate that some people do not have radios. The government however promised to give out some to the people. Let’s be patient as we wait for the government to bring them.

Head mistress:

When you look at the radios, it’s true that some people do not have radios. But, for those who have radios are not utilising them and sometimes challenged by language barrier. 

 

Moderator:

On the same note. I need some clarity because I had from the UNEB press release that the candidates have started registering and this will take five weeks. What do you say about that? 

Headmistress:

Thank you moderator. Yes, it’s true the registration process is ongoing.  The only challenge I have realised is that this process requires to incur some costs even though the government is clearing some of the costs. There is need for clearing costs of identification photos. However, some parents are reluctant at paying these costs and this affects the registration process of their children. There is no late registration and this may result into failure to register some candidates.

Moderator:

I learnt from the newspapers that the registration fee is around 35000shs but some schools are requesting for higher costs more than this. What is causing this rise in the costs in some schools?

Head mistress:

What causes this increment in private schools are the different charges like for form X and even other charges that may apply.

Teacher:

Let me support the private teachers. Most private schools do not have centre numbers and therefore find assistance from other schools that have centre numbers and this requires to incur some costs.

Moderator:

Ok let’s hear from the last caller on the line.

Caller 6:

I’m Benson. How have the schools helped us who are paying high charges of registration like from 35,000shs to 70,000shs?

Moderator:

Madam Kange can you respond to that?

Headmistress:

Thank you moderator. What I know is that most government schools are not charging so highly unlike for the private schools that do not have sitting centres.

Moderator:

Ok let’s not forget our topic today which stresses on the strategies schools are using to see that there is proper communication amongst the stake holders.

I’m giving each one of you one minute to wind up. 

 

Parent:

Thank you moderator. I summarise by telling my fellow parents that we should not leave the children. We have abandoned the children especially in Luuka into sugar plantations and girls are over loitering. We may want these children back into schools but when it’s not possible. Secondly, let’s take our responsibility as parents and remind the children to listen to the radios. I will not talk about televisions because they are scarce in Luuka.

Moderator:

Send greetings to two people.

Parent:

I send my greetings to my parents in Namutumba district, the lovely staff of Budondo primary school that thanks for the wonderful work you are doing and all my relatives in Nabitovu Busowobi. God bless you.

Moderator:

Ok Mr. Mugema give your remarks.

Teacher:

As a teacher, I call upon my fellow teachers not to abandon our learners who are still at home. Let’s always encourage them that learning is ongoing. I end by sending my greetings to my dear father kikaire Steven and my mother Nalumansi joy in bugweri and the entire staff of Namagonjo primary school.

Moderator:

Thank you! 

Mrs. Kange the last word.

Head mistress:

As a head teacher, I emphasise that let’s continue helping the children as we collaborate with the teachers, the stakeholders to see that they continue learning under all circumstances. I send greetings to my dear parents in Namutumba, Mr. kalisengawa and wife that long live. I also greet my husband Mr. Otibide valentine and all my children because I have very many. I also greet my entire staff of Lutare A parents’ primary school and my managers in that school. I end by greeting the head teacher of Maina primary school that this program is running in your school and handle it with care.

 Moderator:

Yes, we shall collaborate with that new head teacher of Maina primary school. Thank you for coming and incurring to come and share ideas with us. Remember that wisdom to learn is within us. I’m Balondemu Simon your servant. Next Saturday, we will not be here with you and we will get back on the 21st of this month. Do not forget to always tune in Busoga one 90.6 FM. God bless you.