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a month ago . 2 min Read
Support your child’s teachers

Mobilise fellow parents and other well-wishers so you can raise money, then invite your children’s teachers for a small envelope each. Make their day.

Bob Kisiki
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If you are the “old skool” kind who decided that opening social media accounts is too “dot com” (which is often used with a hint of a sneer, making it derogatory), you might not know how much society adores and respects teachers.

Oh, they do, as you will see when you read World Teachers Day posts on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. What an outpouring of love!

What (general and even particular) praise, targeted at all teachers and at specific teachers who did this and that to and for individual people! It is a love bonanza.

Yet, sadly, that is where it stops! From March 2020, when President Yoweri Museveni announced an initial 14 days of a total lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic went viral, to this present moment as you read this, there is a category of people who a few have stopped to think about and if they have, it did not go beyond a cursory bambi (oh dear!).

But a plain oh dear is not enough. Let me explain. Many schools, both government-aided and private, depend almost exclusively on the fees parents pay to schools for their survival.

When schools collect fees from parents, they are then able to, among all the other expenses, pay their teachers.

When this does not happen, well, must I spell it out? Now let us stretch it a little bit. Because the lockdown paralysed office work and people’s private businesses, parents lost their income, which meant that even when they had to pay fees, it was not easy.

Besides, because on resumption of teaching, schools were operating at less than 50% capacity, with parents whose sources of income had been curtailed, there was practically no money to pay the many teachers who were called in to teach these few learners.

And that is not all. With the staggered reporting to school of the learners, with some leaving, while others were arriving, it meant that the one category of stakeholders who were a constant were the teachers.

They did not have a break; planning, teaching, assessing their learners and living on an empty tummy some of the time.

You are probably asking, how is this my concern? And probably you are right. Ideally, it is none of your concern. Ideally. But when did we last live under ideal conditions?

When did the normal last apply? While categories of people have been getting baskets of support from the Government, no one knows when the support promised to teachers will reach them.

That is why you, the parent whose child the teacher handles, need to do the previously unimaginable: Reach out to the teacher. Sign a cheque. Fill the boot of your car with basic supplies and drive to her house.

Mobilise fellow parents and other well-wishers so you can raise money, then invite your children’s teachers for a small envelope each. Make their day.

For, I can tell you this, no one will love, let alone enjoy teaching other people’s well-fed, well-groomed children, even as he himself and his family are famished, and go about in mops for garments.

Teachers’ day

Many individuals publicly praise teachers on different social media platforms yet, sadly, that is where it stops!

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