Schools in Uganda closed for two years to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Students, teachers and parents adopted the new way of learning online. Some children benefited from online learning, and others did not.
According to research, parents reported that young children in kindergarten did not benefit from online learning. Children in the lower primary did not observe discipline during classes. As much as the parents were present during the online lessons, they could not give professional advice to the children due to a lack of knowledge and experience in the new technology.
Children in villages learnt through radios while others through their siblings and peers. Children taught by their siblings did not learn something new, making learning repetitive.
Although schools are now open in Uganda, teachers, parents, and children are sad, depressed and stressed. This state affects the children’s academic performance. There is a need for solutions to boost the children’s energy and academic performance.
- Care for mental and psychosocial well being of both teachers and students. Following years of economic breakdown and isolation, psychosocial support should be a priority to ensure preparedness for teaching and learning.
- Help students deal with their feelings. Children faced many challenges such as rape, defilement and child abuse during the closure of schools. Listen to students and help them deal with their emotions.
- Provide individual counselling: It is time for all schools to hire a school counselor for children to seek advice and guidance whenever in need.
- Strengthen communication between family and school. Whether your child is in boarding or day school, keep checking on them. Talk to your child more often and find out how they are doing in school, besides academics.
- Parents should strengthen and establish a good parenting and child relationship. Get close to your child and grow a solid relationship.
- Retrieve teacher’s professional stress: In some countries, teachers have joined hands to give each other financial and emotional support. Ugandan teachers can pick a leaf and take care of each other. Share stories about their life and families and do something fun.
Closing schools kept children from their vital activities of life like playing, socialization and interaction. However, online learning has played a part but not for all learners resulting in poor performance. Parents, teachers, schools and community leaders should give the children prerequisites to perform well.