The 40th US president, Ronald Reagan, once said we can’t help everyone, but we can help someone. And none embodies this philosophy more than three students from Brazil, Canada and Mexico who recently donated 1,500 textbooks to 32 schools in Wakiso district.
The three students are in Uganda to research about the main challenges responsible for poor performance in schools.
Clara Bicalho, a student from Brazil, said the books are meant to help the pupils improve their grasp of concepts in mathematics. She explained that in their research, they discovered that pupils were failing mathematics because they lack instructional materials such as textbooks and they chose to meet that need.
Bicalho added that the trio has also introduced the ‘flipped classroom model’, which is a strategy that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content to pupils outside the classroom.
“In a flipped classroom, pupils use the textbooks to carry out research at home on concepts they have already been taught in class. Instruction becomes learner-centred in which class time explores topics in greater depth and creates meaningful learning opportunities, while textbooks are used to deliver content outside of the classroom,” she explained.
Florence Logose, a teacher at Kamuli Gonzaga Primary School, said the textbooks will go a long way in helping the pupils to understand the mathematic curriculum.
“We shall assign the pupil to do homework from the textbooks such that we correct them when they return to school the following day. Mathematics is a subject that needed everyday practice so with the books the pupils will be practicing on daily basis even when at home,” she noted.
While handing over the books, the District Education Officer(DEO) for Wakiso district, Lwanga Sempijja, advised parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly if they are to excel in education.
Lwanga stressed that usually schools are held responsible for poor performance, yet it is the parents who keep their children at home and engage them in child labour such as vending commodities on the streets.
“Such children keep on missing school and fail to catch up with the others who attend regularly. This has to stop!”