By Mathias Mazinga
CLASS meetings bring together students, teachers and parents in an interactive discussion of academic issues. In most schools, the class meetings are held once every term. But what is the relevance of these class meetings?
Mathias Mazinga attended St. Maryâ€™s College Kisubi (SMACK) class meeting and sought the views of some teachers, students and parents.
Walter Nyeko, the director of studies in charge of science subjects:
There are certain things we as teachers may not be able to know about the students and it is the parents to tell them to us.
Parents may also not know certain things about their children and they have to learn them from the teachers. Class meetings are also a recreational activity. Students and teachers get so much bogged up in academics during the term while the parents are also entangled in their businesses.
Mary Ntete Gunteese, a parent and an education officer:
The relationship between teachers, the students and the parents can be similar to a triangle, whose three sides are supportive and complementary of each other. If one of the sides is missing, the triangle is not complete.
Modern education is holistic. It encompasses the intellectual, social and moral aspects of life. So, as the teachers equip our children with intellectual knowledge, we the parents also have to form their morals.
Jonah Luyambi, a student:
Some of us stay with single mothers and donâ€™t know the voice of a father while other students stay with their fathers and have not heard the voice of a mother.
Class meetings also cater for that disadvantaged category of our colleagues. Remember that parents also advise fellow parents as students also advise fellow students. For example, during this termâ€™s class meeting activity, a fellow student has cautioned us against sleeping in class, gossiping and excessive passive leisure.
Beatrice Butime, a parent:
Because of the free interaction that ensues, the students open up and point out without fear the wrongs or weaknesses of their teachers.
The teachers are also free to highlight the weaknesses of the students and parents. Class meetings help us as parents to be in rhythm with the school. They open up a rapport between teachers, tudents and parents. Can you imagine that the students are bold enough to tell us the portion of food that they are given?
Gerald Kisitu, a student:
Class meetings are a forum for freedom, confidence and self-esteem. I cannot for instance stand in a classroom to advise my fellow students because I know they will not listen.
But during the class-meetings, I talk and where necessary even criticise fellow students, teachers and parents.