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Even in lockdown, Namanda can't stop teaching

By Lawrence Mulondo

Added 3rd June 2020 10:01 PM

To create a classroom environment at home, Namanda got a blackboard from a local cinema hall that stopped operation at the beginning of the lockdown.

Even in lockdown, Namanda can't stop teaching

Namanda tutoring her siblings at home. (Photo by Lawerence Mulondo)

To create a classroom environment at home, Namanda got a blackboard from a local cinema hall that stopped operation at the beginning of the lockdown.

EDUCATION COVID-19   HEALTH

KAMPALA - Every morning, at around 9am, Resty Namuli's neighbours are awakened by loud voices from her home. These loud voices belong to children being tutored by Juliet Namanda a kindergarten teacher and daughter to Namuli.

The voices go on randomly for the next hour until the first break. In the neighbourhood, it has become a new normal.

When you visit the home, you notice a classroom environment just beside the house. While there, Namanda is standing near a blackboard with a piece of chalk in her hands. Next to her are five children listening to her attentively. All the children are her siblings.

 


The children seem to enjoy every second they spend learning. Namanda keeps the class lively. She starts a song and the children sing along joyfully.  

At break time, I catch up with Namanda. I can't wait to ask her what inspires her to tutor her siblings. She is very welcoming and so calm. 

Namanda is 27 years old and teaches at Spring Field International School Buddo. She has been teaching for 4years now. Their home is located at Busega parish, Rubaga division Kampala district.

 


When I ask her my initial question, Namanda tells me she was compelled to teach the children because she realized, they needed to keep reminded of what they learnt at their schools before the lockdown

" I realized they had started forgetting what they had learnt while at school because they spent most of the time playing here at home," she said.

How she started her class

To create a classroom environment at home, Namanda got a blackboard from a local cinema hall that stopped operation at the beginning of the lockdown. "I bought chalk and markers, and used Manila paper I had at home to make learning materials," she said. 

 


To attract the children to class, Namanda said she takes them through fun activities like singing and physical education among others.

AS a teacher, Namanda says tutoring her siblings helps her not to forget how to conduct herself while in class and how to handle children

"Interacting with these children has also helped me to avoid boredom. I love children and I always want to keep interacting with them," she said.

Challenges

Even though everything seems perfect, Namanda faces some challenges. The children are in different classes and every child needs different content for study. Since the home is not enclosed, Namanda says the children are easily distracted by passersby.

 


"When the children are studying, they also expect snacks at breaktime just like it is while at school. When you don't give them snacks, some won't return to class," she said.

Ministry of Health guidelines

No one enters Namanda's class before washing their hands. She makes sure soap and water is available for the children to wash their hands before they sit on the bench. "I always emphasize handwashing and I want it to become a habit for these children because it is the way to go."

What parents say

Brenda Ssebalama called on the government to provide learning materials for Kindergarten children especially those in the village. She said some children had started forgetting what they were taught while at school. 

 


"TVs should also give time to nursery teachers to teach our children at home. This will help our children to remember what they were taught while at school," she said.

Shamim Kalibala another parent advised fellow parents to use the past papers and books to help them go through what was taught to them.

"Not every home is blessed to have a teacher in their midst, it is upon us to see that our children do not forget what was taught to them," she said.


" I realized they had started forgetting what they had learnt while at school because they spent the most time playing here at home,"

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