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Parents challenged to prioritize visitation days

By Lawrence Okwakol 

Kibuku.

Parents have been asked to prioritize visitation of their children in school as a family because it yields intimacy and love hence promotion of family bond and concentration at school by learners.

Fred  Billy Kagino, the executive director of Hill View College Bulangira in Kibuku district made this pronouncement on Saturday during the visitation of 1200 students in the boarding by their parents and 300 on day program.

Kagino said most stakeholders especially parents have completely mistaken visitation as a day intended for tuition clearance and forget the core importance of the program.

He said school fees payment is an obligation and the school just reminds parents and guardians to fulfill it.

“It’s true that we urge parents to clear fees and in case of failure we encourage the student’s to join their families because these are adolescents whom you cannot control  when the institution runs short of food  because  they may turn crazy ,cause damage to the school in name of a strike and of course fees is the only source of income to the school,” Kagino said.

However, the head teacher Hill View College Bulangira Mawangwe Godfrey said the benefits of visitation for both students and parents are numerous  but the main right include 

1. Emotional Support: Visits from loved ones can boost students’ morale, reducing feelings of homesickness and loneliness.

2. Motivation: Visits can motivate students to work harder, knowing someone cares about their well-being and progress.

3. Reconnection: Visits help maintain relationships between students and family and friends, fostering a sense of connection and commitment.

4. Monitoring Progress: Visits allow parents/guardians to assess students’ academic and personal progress, addressing concerns directly.

5. Building Trust: Regular visits demonstrate interest and support, strengthening trust between students and visitors.

6. Reduces Homesickness: Visits can ease adjustment to boarding school life, making students feel more comfortable in their new environment.

7. Encourages Responsibility: Knowing visitors will hold them accountable, students may be more responsible with studies and personal life.

8. Celebrates Milestones: Visits can celebrate achievements, like birthdays or academic accomplishments, making students feel special.

Mawangwe said it should be noted that visits show learners they are valued and supported, promoting emotional well-being and academic success.

“Honestly most students who are not visited feel rejected, neglected regardless of the economic status at home and it takes a bit of time for such learners to come out of the psychological depression and concentrate in academic progress and also other school programs like sports, patriotism and other co-curriculum activities.

Esther Patience Adeke, one of the students said the most frustrating event at school is when parents  fail to come for visitation because it makes even friends either realize or mistake that you are not priority and seem to have an accidental child whom parents had no intention ti bear.

“Friends can give you food drinks but good from your mother’s pot however much it’s poorly prepared remains classic and distinct. Some parents just send money to teachers with excuses. Honestly shs.20,000 or even shs.50,000 cannot be equated to coming for a mere hug and checking on performance and sorting out few issues at school,” Adeke said.

Hausi Njaye Byabtalo,  the deputy head teacher in charge academics said in this occasion is when they take advantage to guide parents how the students are awarded scores according to the guidelines of the new curriculum.

Byabtalo said parents are addicted to raw marks and when the leaners performance are scored using the indicators of outstanding, moderate and basic they get a little confused.

To the contrary, Yusuf Menkere, the Olok sub county councilor in Pallisa district said government should look at the issue of secondary schools both government aided and private by supporting them in science facilities so as to reduce the fees burden in parents.

Menkere said in this financial year government is not taxing manufacturing industries of electronic locomotives forgetting schools where the workers of these  industries came from.

“Let the scientific oriented motivation begin from schools , am happy science teachers in government are being motivated but it has caused hike of fees because their counterparts in private schools pressurise the proprietors who in turn translates it to parents.

However, the former  Bukedea county member of parliament Jackson  Osire 82 and  the current chairperson board of governors in Kolir comprehensive SS, Bukedea district who is a researcher and an education expert said some statistics on education in Uganda  give facts that the country has over 13,000 private schools which have  become more prominent due to the challenges faced by public schools

Osire  said 36% of students enrolled in secondary schools which is 60,000 to 70,000 students leave secondary school annually, but only 35% of them are able to find places in universities

 He said 68% of students do not finish primary education and 78% of new teachers failed a basic math test and 61% failed a basic literacy test

“Government needs to find out the real cause of teachers dropping moral at their work places  because having 29% of teachers  absent weekly is a great loss. I also encourage education officers and inspectors while in the field to do more counseling than focusing on weaknesses, let teachers welcome you joyously as people who have come to share with them  and support them don’t  repel them from you in forces  when high ranking officer comes to the barracks or detach the lower officers chant because they know the visitor has majorly come to appreciate them, encourage them and gives hope of bettering their services,” Osire said.

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