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COVID-19 Lockdown: Parents Appreciate the Role of Teachers

Patrick Yosiya Wakonyi, a resident of Ndeeba, says that it is during such a crisis that assumptions start to fall apart and people start to question things they had previously taken for granted.
11 Oct 2021 09:34
A Teacher at St. Martin's Primary School, Mulago Teaching Primary Seven Learners in Class

Audio 6

The COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged closure of schools have sparked a new appreciation of teachers, particularly among parents, learners, and communities. The COVID-19 induced school closure has seen parents spend almost two years with their children.     

Due to the challenges involved in handling minors, the majority of parents have been calling on the government to reopen schools, saying their children are safer in the hands of teachers. 

Patrick Yosiya Wakonyi, a resident of Ndeeba, says that it is during such a crisis that assumptions start to fall apart and people start to question things they had previously taken for granted. 

He says that the most important question in the heads of many now is how teachers keep up with their children.  

Luganda byte      

//Cue in; “Tulaba omugaso…

Cue out…abazadde kyebakola.”//   

Lucy Auma, a parent says that increased cases of child delinquency, teenage pregnancy, and other vices like drug and alcohol abuse, which have escalated in the lockdown point to a vacuum created by the absence of teachers in children’s lives. 

//Cue in; “It is a real….

Cue out…we value them.”// 

Faith Ritah Namugga, a mother of three says that parents will certainly value their children’s teachers if they did not before the lockdown. She notes that when the lockdown started, many parents thought they could play teacher by teaching their children but gave up after a few weeks into the lockdown and started pleading with the government to reopen schools.

 

//Cue in; “Because a teacher…

Cue out…it’s not right.”//   

Joyce Namukasa Makanga, another parent says that previously many parents thought teachers were only handling academic issues but the lockdown has opened them to other roles teachers play in the lives of their children.

Luganda byte     

//Cue in; “Omusomesa okutuvaako…  

Cue out...aba kki? Abazadde,”// 

 

Godfrey Ssentamu, a city businessman notes that the suffering of teachers, more especially those in private institutions, is a wake-up call not only to the government but all other stakeholders including parents and school proprietors to establish avenues for support teachers during such a crisis.

He is perturbed that the pandemic has forced teachers into jobs that degrade their status.  

//Cue in; “As a community…   

Cue out…other things.”//   

Children are also missing their teachers and school at large. “I miss seeing my teachers,” Keith Kimuli, who was in primary four at victory primary school before the school closure said.  He says that teachers could hug them and play with them.  

//Cue in; “missinga okusoma…    

Cue out…ng’anyambako”//    

Juma Mwamula, the General Secretary of Uganda Private Teachers’ Union, says that as teachers they acknowledge the unfortunate situation that has befallen individuals and the entire sector due to school closure. He, however, says that it is encouraging to learn that parents and learners are feeling their value at such a moment.    

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