Talk 9: On Teachers’ Roles

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

Moderator: Nakiirya Brenda Doreen

Panelist 1: Namaganda Loy Teacher (Luuka District)

Panelist 2: Kiima Wilson Teacher (Mayuge District)

 Panelist 3: Igeme George Pta Chairperson (Bugweri District)

Moderator:

 Our dear listeners thanks for listening to us, thank you for washing hands and taking care of yourselves during this COVID 19 period. We are here at Busoga one 90.6 FM the heart of Busoga. My name is Nakiirya Brenda Doreen, I work with Community concerns Uganda initiative together with Twaweza and Elevate the partners for education. I would like to thank Elevate the partners for education for supporting us in this program. 

I have moved with my other colleagues, that is two teachers and a chairperson PTA and they are going to introduce themselves to you. Let’s begin with the female teacher. 

Panellist 1:

Thank you very much our dear listeners who have tuned in Busoga one 90.6 FM. My name is Namaganda Loy from Budondo primary school, a teacher of primary one class. I have come here to share on the roles of a teacher in our school communities.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from another teacher as he introduces himself. 

Panellist 2:

Thank you for madam moderator for organising this program. My name is Kiima Wilson a teacher from Mayuge district at Bwonda primary school. My origin is Buswikira village but, I live in Maina Village.  To the listeners, prepare your selves to listen to us.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from the chairman PTA.

Panellist 3:

Thank you! madam Doreen Nakiirya. Ladies and gentlemen who are tuned in, we are really grateful that you are listening to us. My name is Igenyi George the chairperson PTA Busesa mixed primary school in bugweri district.

Moderator:

Thank Mr. Igenyi. I would like to remind you that last Saturday we were not here because we were having a short break. However, the previous Saturday we were here with Balondemu Simon and we were discussing the ways in which schools communicate with other stake holders. They listed that the stake holders include: the teachers, the pupils the parents and many others. They shared about a number of ideas and the parent mentioned that they communicate with teachers to seek advice on how best to have their children learn. The teachers also said that they always remind their parents to give their children the opportunity to listen to the radios and even other learning materials.

Today, we are going to discuss about the roles and responsibilities of teachers. As you earlier heard from the two teachers in the studio and a parents’ representative from Busesa primary school, I would like to inform you that we carried out a survey before the Covid 19 outbreak.  We well know that COVID 19 has greatly affected the learning of our children. Madam Namaganda, please tell us how you used to carry out your activities at school. How many children did you use to have in a class and how could you handle them?

 

Panellist 1:

Thank you! madam Brenda. In my class of primary one at Budondo primary school, I used to have 192 pupils, both male and female. We used to have a time table and could open up the school very early in the morning at exactly 7:00am. We used to have early morning extra lessons for even the primary one pupils.

Moderator:

We would like to know about your experience, how would your day at school be?

Panellist 1:

I used to stay at school full time except for this COVID 19 outbreak that forced us to go back to our home villages. I would be in class by 06:30am waiting for the learners to get in for the extra lesson at 7:00am. I would proceed up to 8:00am when the extra lesson elapses. Therefore, I would proceed with mathematics and later literacy 1 and 2, that is reading and writing. My colleague madam Namukose teaches after breakfast

Moderator:

What do you teach in the extra lesson?

Panellist 1:

During the extra lesson, I look out for the areas where my pupils are finding difficulty and I concentrate on that. 

Moderator:

What else do you do apart from that?

Panellist 1:

I have other responsibilities in this school and am a sports mistress. I love sports so much and I engage the pupils every evening in sports and games. 

Moderator:

Which means you are also teaching your pupils about physical education other than mathematics and literacy?

Panellist 1:

Yeah, I teach it to a certain extent but not as a subject.

Moderator:

You mean there is another teacher for physical education and you are the in charge of sports for the whole school. 

Panellist 1:

Yes, for the whole school.

Moderator:

That’s great. You have told us your roles and responsibilities. So, which activity occupies a lot.

Panellist 1:

The main activity that occupies me a lot is teaching because I teach from 7:00am to 10:30 am.

Moderator:

So, during this period when COVID 19 distorted everything, what has changed in those activities.

Panellist 1:

As of now, the interaction I used to have with the pupils and their parents is limited.

Moderator:

We would like to know if you are no longer teaching.

Panellist 1:

Thank you very much. I for one am teaching some of the pupils in my locality. I normally teach around six pupils and assist them, teach them and give them some learning materials.

Moderator:

At what time do you teach them?

Panellist 1:

I first go for my gardening work like up to 10:00am and begin teaching them from 12:00noon up to 2:00pm.

Moderator:

That’s really great. If schools open, what have you planned to stress on in teaching to see that you cover the time lost during this period.

Panellist 1:

As a teacher, I plan to make two streams out of this class to see that we can cover these children the both of us.

Moderator:

Have you been teaching all these 192 pupils in one class?

 Panellist1:

Yes, but for the essence of reaching all these children in the limited time available, it’s now impossible to have all of them in one class.

Moderator:

Is there any other plan apart from that?

Panellist 1:

The other plan that I have as I wait for my pupils to come back to school is to create a good relationship with these little children so that I awaken their desire to learn.

Thank you very much madam Namaganda. Mr. kaima, you have also told us that you are a teacher at Bwonda primary school. Please tell us how many children you used have before the COVID 19 outbreak and of your roles and responsibilities.

Panellist 2:

You are not calling my name in a proper way, my name is Kiima Wilson.

Moderator:

I would like to apologise for that.

Panellist 2:

I really had a very big class of 250 pupils. But, what I did for that class is to stream it into two classes. We are handling these classes with my colleague called Madam Namukobe Sarah. We had tried our best and that class of primary two was a very disciplined class and could always listen to us.

Moderator:

We would like to know of how you coordinate your days or your week in school.

Panellist 2:

First of all, am very lucky that my school has a school staff quarter where I reside. I therefore have time to prepare and I reach school on time.

Moderator:

At what time do you exactly reach school. 

Panellist 2:

I prepare myself very fast and reach school at exactly 7:30am. I reach school and prepare for my pupils. Some of my children come from very far like at the ends of the forest and some from the island. However, I keep around with those from nearby as I wait for those from far.

When all gather, I conduct a small assembly for my primary two class to give them instructions for the day. I guide them so as to prepare them for the day.

Moderator:

At what time do you exactly begin teaching?

Panellist 2:

I begin teaching at 8:30am.

Moderator:

All the pupils will have arrived by this time?

Panellist 2:

Yeah, by this time they are all in class.

Moderator:

Which subject do you teacher sir?

Panellist 2:

I teach four subjects because primary two basically has eight subjects. I teach mathematics, reading and writing, news and religious education. As I teach in stream A, madam Sarah will be teaching in stream B and vice versa. That’s how we handle it until 1:00pm when the pupils go back home.

Moderator: 

What other responsibilities do you take at school?

Panellist 2:

I’m the sports master at school in charge of football and athletics. I also serve as a welfare master to see that the feeding program of the school for both the pupils and the teachers is in a proper condition.

Moderator:

Mr. Kiima can you please tell us your plans for the reopening of schools. What new strategies have you laid to see that you cover up the loss brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Panellist 2:

Madam moderator, I would like to inform you that I will be going back with a new system at school. I will be beginning my lessons at exactly 8:00am and we shall have to extend our departure time from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. This will help us to cover up the syllabus which was not taught this year.

Moderator:

How are you going to cater for the pupils you said are coming from far places?

Panellist 2:

Madam moderator, that is very simple. I’m going to mobilise them to come on time and I know they will reach at the appropriate time.

Moderator:

What should be the expectations especially when schools open?

Panellist 2:

The parents should expect a lot of inconveniences specially to come and attend meetings. Very many things have changed and we need share ideas with the parents. They should therefore be ready to be disturbed. I also plan to have extra lessons as earlier mentioned and parents are expected to send the pupils to school on time and expect them back home a bit late than typical. I also expect to move door to door to remind some of the parents of their responsibilities because some of them forget about their children.

Moderator:

Ok thank you so much Mr. Kiima. 

Mr. Igenyi George every listener out there is eager to hear about the roles and responsibilities of the PTA in a school. Which roles do you play and which responsibilities do you have?

 

Panellist 3:

Thank you! madam. You would like to know about the role and responsibility of the PTA. The major role of PTA is to build a strong collaboration between the parents, the teachers and the pupils. The other role is to see that the parents appreciate their school community and are proud of it. How can this be possible? 

A parent is always proud of his/her school community when his/her child is learning very well and the pupils are performing. I would like to inform you that the people of Busesa are proud of Busesa mixed primary school and that’s why you see that the school has a very large population.

Moderator:

What was the total population before COVID 19 outbreak?

 Panellist 3:

Before COVID 19, we had 2335 pupils in the school. Right now, the total number of candidates in primary seven is 185 pupils.

Moderator:

Ok let’s proceed with the responsibilities of PTA chairperson.

Panellist 3:

The other role is to attend village meetings and find out what the community says about the school community. In case of any negative response, you have to give the feedback to the head teacher and devise mechanisms of solving the challenges. For example, in Busesa mixed, we hold assemblies every Monday and talk to our children. 

Moderator:

Do you also find time and talk to your pupils?

Panellist 3:

Yeah I do find time and talk to them not only on Mondays but also other days when I get time. This is because I need to be updated about what is going on at school.

Moderator:

Tell us more about the roles.

Panellist 3:

The other responsibility that I have, is to monitor if what is discussed in different trainings is being implemented. For example, the school projects like the construction projects. If they are carrying out any construction at school, it is the responsibility of the chairperson PTA to monitor that work, whether the materials are being used appropriately

Moderator:

Mr. Igenyi do you leave your work and go supervise that work.

 

Panellist 3:

Yeah, I create time and be there. You may even find that I do some of the work myself. It is very common one of these days that many contractors construct buildings and they collapse. This is simply because there is no effective monitoring of the work.

The other biggest role of a chairperson PTA is that of being a councillor. You are supposed to find time and talk to different people. For example, our school has a number of teachers and we expect a number of challenges. I therefore talk to different teachers and find out the different challenges faced in the school. 

Moderator:

How have you helped the teachers especially during this period?

Panellist 3:

We well know that the teachers have not been working, we therefore communicated with the head teacher and found out that we had to facilitate them with the little funds the pupils had solicited before the lock down. 

I have also continued to encourage my teachers to carry out farming especially during this free period.

Moderator:

But most of the teachers come from long distance villages. How are they making it?

Panellist 3:

Just as I told you, our teachers reside within the staff quarters. We have good relationships with some of the parents. Some have given out land to the teachers for free and some are renting with low charges. They are therefore carrying out farming for sustainability.

Moderator:

That’s very good to hear from the parents of Busesa.

So as parents- teachers’ association, what plans do you have in continuing the collaboration with teachers during this period.

Panellist 3:

We discussed with the teachers and found out that some of the girls had conceived during the period. However, we reached an agreement that those girls especially the candidates should report back to school and register just as the government had suggested it.  

We are also going to conduct meetings specially to sensitize the parents about the disciplines of the children that had deteriorated during the long holiday. This will help us put hands together with the parents in imparting discipline to our children.

Moderator:

We are going to have a short break. But when we come back, we shall welcome your questions and these visitors in the studios will be able to answer them. You can on numbers 0757906906 and 

0776999906 and share views with us. You can also air your views on Elevate the partners for education on Facebook and twitter.

Commercial break.

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Moderator:

Our dear listeners, I welcome you back from that short break. The lines you can call are 0757906906 or 0776999906 and continue sharing with us about today’s topic. 

Caller 1:

My name is Namakiika Madinah from Busesa. I have called to appreciate the chairman PTA from Busesa, Mr George thank you very much.

Moderator:

She called to appreciate Mr. George

Caller 2:

My name is Sempala David from Namasagali. We are really grateful for educating the people of Uganda. My concern goes to the schools and their management committees that are misusing the school land in our locality. Please take an example from the people of Busesa. This land is meant to be utilised as school gardens to benefit the school’s nutrition and the teachers themselves.

Moderator:

Mr. Igeme, as a chairperson PTA, you have heard the complaint of that parent. What do you say about that?

Panellist 3:

I would like to thank that parent who raised that complaint. I would like to thank my head teacher Madam Amoiti for being very innovative and brought a number of projects in the school. She planted trees, she has projects like vegetable gardening and this has greatly helped in improving the school nutrition. I call upon all school management committees to inform their head teachers on what is meant to be done with the school land.

Moderator:

Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 3:

My name is Tony and I have called to appreciate those projects in that school. How I wish that school was found here in our Locality. 

Moderator

Tell us what you should do to have these good things in your school community

Caller 3:

They should take examples from those schools, move out of those schools and tour other places to see what is applied elsewhere.

Caller 4:

My name is Anthony from Budondo. I would like to appreciate our teacher from Budondo primary school for being collaborative with us and our school head teacher.

 

Moderator:

Ok, thank you. Please say something about today’s topic.

Caller 4:

I would just like to emphasise about the issue of extra lessons because they are really helpful for the children.

Moderator:

Mr. Kiima, you earlier mentioned about the introduction of extra lessons when schools resume. You mean you have not been having extra lessons in your school?

Panellist 2:

Actually this program has been there but, for only upper classes from primary four to primary seven.

Moderator:

Madam Loy, you said that you have been having these lessons in your school. How effective have they been?

Panellist 1:

These lessons are really helpful because they help the children especially in reading and writing. As a concerned teacher, I feel happy to have my children learn how to read and write.

Moderator:

Mr. Igeme, Tell us more about the extra lessons. I strongly believe that some parents will be motivated on hearing about this from a fellow parent. 

Panellist 3:

Extra lessons are really good and I would like to inform you that extra lessons are there in Busesa primary school from primary 1 to primary 7. Teachers are doing it to our expectations because other teachers would require payment to handle extra lessons but, teachers of Busesa are serving with a Godly heart.

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Always remember the wisdom to learn is within us. Let’s hear from another caller.

Caller 5:

Iam Kunya David from Bwonda. I’m really happy for this topic today and would like to appreciate my teacher and the chairperson PTA. 

Moderator:

How is this topic applicable in Bwonda?

 

Caller 5:

The fact is that we have not been having extra lessons for the lower primary. But as a school management committee, we discussed about it and it is going to be implemented when schools resume.

Caller 6:

I’m Salongo Noah from Bugerere. I would like to appreciate the teachers and the chairperson PTA for those wonderful words. However, I would like to comment about the co-curricular activities and carrier guidance which is diminishing in schools. In our regime of the 1993, we used to have art and craft which is not effective at the moment.

Moderator:

 Madam Namaganda say something about that. You told us that you are a sports mistress but you did not talk about the art and craft bit of it.

Panellist 1:

In our school, this program is effective and we normally hold it within the different classes depending on the time table. P.1 holds it towards lunch time. We also carry out gardening in the school garden. Our school is also being supported by an NGO called IDI that gave us the goats and school students rear them.

Moderator:

Thank you madam Namaganda. Mr. Kiima say something.

Panellist 2:

Thank you very much madam. In our school, we are carrying out that activity. My class of p.2 specifically carries it out every Wednesday and the children carry out the weaving of fishing nets and pottery since we have clay soil nearby. On the issue of carrier guidance, I spare five minutes of my lesson guide the children and mentor them.

Moderator:

Mr. Kigenyi what do you do in your school.

Panellist 3

I’m happy to say that Busesa mixed is a model school. In the art and craft activity, we train our pupils to make re-usable sanitary pads, we also train them in sawing sweaters. The trend has changed from making ropes because sisals are also scarce. The pupils also carry out farming in the school garden. Carrier guidance is there and it is being put into practise.

Moderator:

  Thank you! We have heard from you the chairman PTA that you assisting teachers in different ways. During this period when the schools have reopened, it is your responsibility and the teachers to inform the pupils that COVID is real and they should wear masks and wash hands. 

 

Caller 7:

I’m Tugende from Lwanyama. I would like to say that for schools that have wide school gardens should be utilised efficiently and the pupils benefit from them. Pupils should feed on that food instead of it being shared by the teachers alone. The teachers should also at least guide our children and mould them into disciplined pupils so that they can be useful citizens in the future.

Moderator:

Thank you very much. Madam Namaganda give your key insights to the parents during this period.

Panellist 1:

To my pupils of primary one, I encourage you to stay at home and avoid going for holidays. To the parents, do not give very hard tasks to these children that do not their ages. This is very dangerous for their lives. I also encourage you to work hard for the betterment of your children because no one is going to struggle for them.

Moderator:

Send greetings to two people.

Panellist 1:

I greet the entire staff of Budondo primary school, my husband and my children.

Moderator:

Mr. Kiima, give your last remarks to the pupils and the parents.

Panellist 2:

To the parents and the children, we have had enough of the holiday. Schools are about to resume. Therefore, it’s time for the parents to prepare since you have not been paying school fees. Prepare the school requirements such that the pupils will not be disturbed when they resume school.

Moderator:

Mr. Kigenyi, what message do you have for the children and the parents.

Panellist 3:

All I encourage the parents is to prepare the requirements for the pupils as we wait for the resumption of schools. To the pupils, I request you to remain disciplined and always go for prayers in the churches or mosques. A child who fears God is a very disciplined child.

Moderator:

Madam Namaganda what message will you deliver to the people of Budondo.

Panellist 1:

Thank you! madam moderator. My take away message from the callers is about the utilisation of school land. I believe that this is true and it would help the parents who don’t have the capability to feed the children.

Moderator:

Mr Kiima tell us your take away from this program. And send greetings to two people.

Panellist 2:

I would like to say that let us be ready for change and that we have to follow it. We were used to other things but the trend has changed. Fellow teachers let us be ready to teach in a different way when schools reopen because everything is possible. I greet my wife Namusubo betty and my mother Kwegemya Mariam.

Moderator:

Mr. Kigenyi tell us about your take away.

Panellist 3:

I just encourage the listeners to always put into practise whatever we hear from these programs. Let’s love our children and support our schools to see them a success.

Moderator:

Send regards to two people.

Panellist 3:

I send regards to my head teacher madam Amoiti Rose and my lovely wife Nabirye Hellen that I love you so much.

Moderator:

I take this opportunity to thank Elevate the partners for education and our dear listeners that thank you for listening. Tune in this program every Saturday from12:00noon to 7:00pm. I continue to thank radio Busoga one for allowing us to have this programme. In case of any queries, you can call on Elevate numbers 0782933243 and share with them. I send greetings to my parents Mr and Mrs. Gemma in Magamaga and the entire staff of Community Concerns Uganda. 

I remain Nakiirya Brenda. Continue washing hands.

The wisdom to learn lies within us.