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Improved performance in schools can only be achieved through team work.

Parents have been urged to be confident while supporting their children in education especially by avoiding overlooking their home based schools as schools that do not perform. These and many more words were said by Mr. Manyindo Frank the head teacher school during ToroDev supported live radio talk show. Mr. Manyindo was hosted a long side Ms Alinda Lucia the director St. Lucia high school in the studios of Hits Fm on 10th February 2018 to analyze UCE results for 2017.

’Some parents have lost hope in our home based schools for example many parents have taken their children to schools outside the district after passing their where pupils after passing PLE well, this together with other factors like infrastructure in schools, inadequate staffing, absenteeism, parents negative attitude towards education, lack of support to children with materials/school needs by parents, etc have affected performance at UCE’’, said Frank Manyindo.

Mr. Manyindo further said parents need to play their roles if they are to improve their children’s education by not only living the task to teachers and looking at the bursaries given by schools but also monitor and research on the schools they take their children before making the decision. He said the criteria they use to select best schools like syllabus coverage, qualified teachers, availability of reading materials, school facilities like classrooms and committements from teachers, parents and students are all here hence not to walk distances looking for schools outside the district which put a child at risk in a number of ways.

While sharing her views on the UCE results released Ms Alinde Lucia said schools need to build momentum, keep records and convince parents that they can perform.  She advised parents to always visit their children while at school, provide lunch for them, and support them with scholastic materials and work hard to control absenteeism of pupils. On the issue of examination malpractices they said poor management by UNEB officials especially during printing, packaging, storing and transit have caused some schools to rely on such other than concentrating on teaching students to pass. Alinda said we should work together as all education stakeholders including management of schools, parents, management committees, duty bearers, students and any other person committed to improve education standards.

During the 2 hours live discussion, listeners participated through call-ins and Sms; ‘’We are capable of performing well though we still have some challenges which  are affecting government aided schools in Kabarole district  such as limited school facilities, inadequate staffing, absenteeism, etc”, Said Ms Ainembabazi  a caller from Kibito Bunyangabu district.

‘’English language should be given first priority since all papers are set in English at primary and secondary levels this will give students a room to understand what they set in examinations”, Said Mr Isongoza a caller from Bunyangabu district.

“UNEB should be strict to people who set exams such that they can control examination malpractices and linkage of papers which has affected parents and students”, Said Mr. Bazale a caller from Kichwamba Sub County in Kabarole district.

We are grateful for our donors for the financial and technical support to keep these programs running

Public Accountability Meeting.

ToroDev use different platforms to promote public accountability for improved service delivery. For example,media, accountability meetings with the aim  of accessing and sharing information, advocating and raising awareness on service delivery, equality, the right to information and free speech.

 

The role of community involvement in project implementation processes towards improving service delivery in Kichwama subcounty Kabarole district

Water issues in Kicwamba sub county, Kabarole district have for sometime been a public outcry in spite petitioning local leaders to look into water challenges in the community. On 28th January, 2018 a team from Kicwamba sub county that included the Coordinator Kichwamba advocacy forum Mr. Gilbert Rwaheru, the chairperson sub county water board committee Mr Byembabazi John and Hon Kasaija Ronald a youth councilor representing Kicwamba sub county appeared live in the studios of Jubilee radio to mobilize citizens to team up and solve the water issue in the subcounty.

The subcounty has been having running water receiving from a gravity scheme and at the moment there are proposals to partner with Mid western Umbrella a water based organization in Uganda to take over the management of the scheme for effective water supply in the subcounty. Officials at the subcounty level as well as the district are divided on the issue of gravity management that is managed by the subcounty leadership. National water and sewerage cooperation an institution that supply water in Uganda also want to take up management of the scheme and now the public is hand tired because they do not know any of the bidding companies and they are not involved in meetings where they would be understanding them in terms of their services.

While appearing on ToroDev supported weekly radio program that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm- 10:00pm, Mr Rwaheru Gilbert said the gravity flow scheme did not work well because citizens were not sensitized on how they can maintain it and as we talk now the water levels have reduced due to dry spells and villages are getting water in shifts something that has increased the existing water challenges in the sub county.

The chairperson water board committee said we need duty bearers at the Sub County and district to inform us and we convene a meeting with citizens in order to understand the services offered by these companies. For example a unit of water by national water and sewerage cooperation has 1000 Jerricans and costs between 1000/=- 3000/= (one thousand & three thousand shillings. Our people failed to contribute 1500/= (one thousand five hundred shillings) a month for maintenance of the gravity, how then will they be able to pay 3000/=? It is important that duty bearers involve community members in sensitization meetings to understand these companies and make a decision other than forcing them what they do not know nor understand.

‘’Government projects especially at sub county level lack proper monitoring and supervision hence failure in sustainability because local citizens are not mobilized to be part especially in early stages of project implementation, I urge community members  to develop positive attitude towards supervision, monitoring and maintaining projects that are being implemented in communities & to develop a sense of ownership in order to improve essential service delivery’’, Said Gilbert Rwaheru, coordinator Kicwamba advocacy forum.

 During the 2 hours, listeners participated through Sms and call-inns where 15 Sms messages were sent and over 30 people called in live to share their views and comments.

 “Our water is coming in phases without knowing the schedule for the supply even, can our leaders please tell us what is happening and the plans you have to rectify the issues of water in our sub county?’’, Said Charles, a caller from Kagogo village in Kicwamba sub county.

 “We need sensitization meetings to be done in our communities so that we can plan with the organizations coming to supply water, we need to understand them and the services they intend to give us before we agree to receive service from them. We request the Water board committee to mobilize these meeting as soon as they can’’, Said Paul Monday a caller from Karago in Kicwamba subcounty.

Torodev in partnership with Katooke Advocacy Forum held a public accountability meeting in Kyenjojo district to address key challenges affecting education sector.

The meeting was held in the newly created Nyakisi sub county, Kyenjojo district on 2nd February, 2018 to identify and discuss key challenges in education aimed at improving the sector in the district. In attendance was the area inspector of schools Mwenge central Madam Stella Kabanyoro who at the same time represented the district education officer, the sub county chief, the sub county chairperson, parish chiefs, head teachers, religious leaders, members of management committees in schools, parents, opinion leaders, elderly and the media.

In his communication, the strategic partnership and communications officer, David Kugonza who spoke on behalf of ToroDev informed participants that as an organization such platforms are organized for citizens to interact with their elected leaders, present their issues to them as well as get feedback from them. He said ToroDev promotes the use of ICT tools both traditional and modern to improve service delivery in communities. David said in addition to the available platforms promoted by ToroDev, the organization has developed an e-participation system called ‘Me and My Leader’ (MML) where citizens can report on service delivery issues from their communities before ToroDev team shares the reported issues with sub county, district and national level duty bearers for solutions. David further said citizens can participate by visiting www.mmlonline.org for those using internet and also send a pre-paid Sms to 6115. He asked participants to promote the system such that the intended objectives can be achieved.

ToroDev Strategic partnership and communications officer David Kugonza sharing with the citizens of Nyakisi sub county.

“We are much aware of the mentioned challenges facing education in this community like; early marriages, school drop-out, lack of enough teachers, infrastructure, lack of proper accountability of funds received by some head teachers, lack of lunch for teachers and learners, lack of staff quarters, etc as officials from education department in the district we are working hard to find a lasting solution to solve them but we need to work as a team to be successful. Effective this term we are going to give school management committees monitoring tools such that they monitor schools and report of any anomalies even before education officials come on ground to do their monitoring’’, Said Stella Kabanyoro area Inspector of schools Mwenge Central, Kyenjojo district.

Stella Kabanyoro area Inspector of schools Mwenge Central, Kyenjojo district responding to some of the challenges raised by the citizens

“Teachers are blamed for pupils’ poor performance in schools  but we are trying our best to work with limited education facilities, we walk long distances due to lack of staff houses, the pupil teacher ratio is high, etc but also parents are to blame for  increased absenteeism of pupils,  drop out, etc because they have not played their role of sending pupils to schools and monitoring them because they want to keep them in agriculture and in  the  process children miss class and perform poor’’, Said Mr. Kaguma a teacher at Rubango primary school during plenary.

Participants during the meeting

A number of challenges were identified but key among them are; Child/early marriage, absenteeism/time management of teachers & pupils, lack of lunch for teachers & pupils, understaffing, lack of staff quarters, lack of proper accountability by some head teachers for the funds they receive from parents, lack of regular monitoring by sub county duty bearers, etc

 Out puts.

  • One hundred & ten(110) citizens attended including district education department officials, sub county duty bearers, head teachers, management committees, parents, etc
  • Key challenges affecting education sector in Nyakisi subcounty presented to duty bearers and technocrats to provide solutions
  • Acton plan developed.

Action plan.

Early marriage.Sensitization meetings to be done in schools by all parties and  all Duty bearers,Parents,PTA &SMCs members Teachers  and Advocacy forum(Effective 1st January 2018 )

Fencing of school premises ,Arrest all those that tress pass around school premises  and Schools to employ day & night security guards.Head teachers,School management committees,Office of the Sub county chief,Security guards  will be responsible (Effective first term 2018 )

Absenteeism/time management of pupils &teachers,effective first week of first term (from 5th -9th February, 2018) sub county officials to work with parish chiefs to record attendance in schools and punish those parents who will have not sent their children to school.responsible person(Management committees SMCs & PTA teachers Subcounty leadership Head teachers Office of the District Inspector of school Advocacy forum(Effective first term 2018 5th February, 2018)

Lack of lunch for teachers and learners,Sensitizing parents on the importance of lunch for children at school and Mobilizing for parents contribution towards lunch (Effective first term5th February,2018) Parish and sub county officials ,Head teachers, Parents,Management committees ,Advocacy forum are responsible.

Under staffing, Management committees to work with head teachers to contribute some fee for PTA Teachers in the meantime,responsible person Inspector of schools, office of the district education officer,management committees ,Head teachers(On- going)

Lack of staff quarters, All projects to be budgeted for then request parents to contribute in cash or kind to solve the challenge responsible person ministry of education through (DEO)Advocacy forumHead teachersManagement committees( on going)

Lack of proper accountability  by head teachers on funds paid by parents,School administration to draw a budget showing what will be done for easy tracking  and Pin information on school notice boards for parents & visitors to view, Responsible person head teachers, Finance committees,Advocacy forum,Subcounty leadership, Office of the DEO ( Should be done at the end of every term).

Lack of regular monitoring.Office of the area Inspector of schools to provide monitoring tools to subcounty officials to use in their monitoring for record keeping.It should be done by sub county leaders  DEDIS, Subcounty duty bearers, Management committees (effective first term of 2018(5th February,2018)

Need for Refresher courses for some teachers And exposure visits,ToroDev to support the whole exercise for the first quarter as the subcounty integrates it in the subcounty budget for additional quarters representatives  from every school to visit better performing schools in the district and outside the district.Responsible person, Sub county administration,head teachers,teachers ,advocacy forum,ToroDev ( effective 2nd term in 2018.)

we are grateful to our donors for financial support.

ToroDev in partnership with Kakabara development Advocacy Forum organized an accountability on the state of economic development in Kyegegwa district..

With support from SIDA another public accountability meeting was held. The meeting was held on 31st January, 2018 at Kakabara primary school Play ground with the main aim of addressing and presenting key challenges identified by Kakabara advocacy forum to duty bearers and the citizens, key challenges include; in adequate inputs to farmers, late supply of inputs to farmers and this affects outputs, non involvement of beneficiaries unlike how it was in NAADS II. This has contributed to the failure of the program, long distances moved by beneficiaries to pick inputs, low involvement of local leaders especially on OWC, limited awareness creation and sensitization by extension workers, etc

A citizen of Kakabara sub county rising his concerns during the meeting

“As a forum we carried research on government implemented projects/programs such as operation wealth creation (OWC), youth livelihood program (YLP) and women entrepreneurship fund (WEF) within our sub county  especially among the beneficiaries in Kyegegwa district ,we discovered that it’s experiencing some challenges that are affecting them to yield positively and that is why we are here to find a lasting solution together with our duty bearers’’, Said Aheebwa the coordinator of Kakabara development advocacy forum.

“We still have a problem with operation wealth creation implementers that’s why the seeds and crops supplied in our sub counties don’t match with the items we apply for, this has been as a result of poor consultations from farmers but we promise to work hand in hand with the district production department and solve those issues”. Said Hon. Birungi Maureen the district councilor representing Kakabara sub county.

Outputs.

  • One hundred and thirty (130) citizens attended.
  • Duty bearers/technical team attended including religious leaders, LCI, LCIII, sub county chief, sub county councilors, district councilor and media
  • Key challenges affecting economic development identified.
  • Action plan developed.

Key comments from citizens

“Program implementers should always carry out trainings before seeds are supplied since some of the seeds supplied need a lot of knowledge such as  fruits and apples growing’’,  ‘’ Is supplying 10 kilograms of beans or maize really getting someone from poverty? Why can’t there be bottom-top planning before supply of the items?’’, ‘’ Why does the government supply seeds which we have not applied for?”, why does the government supply seeds without citizen consultation?,

A participant asking a question during the accountability meeting in Kakabara

Way forward.

  • The inputs should be supplied in time such that famers can catch up with the season.
  • Extension workers should be recruited and given facilitation to sensitize famers up to the lower levels.
  • Local leaders should be involved in all processes especially from the planning level to the implementation.
  • The supplies should be in line with demands of the farmers.
  • Exchange visits should be done among farmers such that they can learn from each others
  • Forming marketing association such they can solve the problems of inadequate markets for their products.
  • Bottom up planning should be considered such that seeds supplied are of citizens demand