School Teacher Madinah Kakaire is a teaching hero!

07Dec10

Congratulations to school teacher Madinah Kakaire,who has just won a prestigous award for her teaching skills.  

Madinah teaches at one of the schools, Pelican Post supports – Ttula Primary School in Uganda.  This is her story courtesy of John Agaba at ‘The New Vision’ Newspaper, Kampala…

I was lucky to find her in one of her sessions. A teacher of the infant class, Kakaire was holding her lesson under a tree. Even with the distraction that comes with studying in the open space, every pupil had their attention to their teacher. She listened to them. She talked to them. Her hand holding a pupil’s hand and a pencil, Kakaire slowly helps the pupil to write letters of the alphabet in his book.

Community praise
Bashir Kalule, a Primary Six pupil at the school, is all praises for Kakaire.   “She has taught me to read and to read well. Even though she no longer teaches me, she still tells me to read. She usually offers me textbooks to read,” he says.   Kalule says this has helped him improve his command of the English language. “I can now stand in front of other pupils and speak confidently,” he adds.  Kalule commends Kakaire for helping him stay in school when the head teacher had sent him away because he had no paid school fees. “Dad wasn’t at home. I didn’t know what to do. But when I explained my situation to her, she allowed me to stay in class,’’ he says.

Sarah Nambalidwa, a Primary Seven pupil, says she loves Kakaire for her unwavering care. Nambalidwa is not the only person under Kakaire’s spell. Gorretti Kabakama, a parent, says her Primary two son, Levi Jasamba, is fond of Kakaire.  “The lad cannot stop talking about her teacher. My son is in good hands,” Kabakama says.

Emmy Tweyambe, Kakaire’s head teacher, has been with her supervisor for barely two years, but is already is full of praises for the teacher. He is lucky to have a deputy that is so effective. Kakaire is also a class teacher. And according to her supervisor, no other teacher can handle an infant class better than Kakaire.  Tweyambe adds that Kakaire’s attitude towards work is positive.

He says Kakaire spends more time at school than is stipulated. During this time she is mainly involved in preparing teaching materials.

Kakaire is also working with Katutandike Uganda, a project geared at encouraging Ugandans to read for pleasure. The project, now an NGO, provides reading materials to the member schools. Its members train children, the public and even other teachers on the benefit of reading for pleasure.  Tweyambe says his deputy is ever present at almost every school function. He describes her as calm, tolerant and talented.

Kakaire’s Story
Kakaire talks proudly of her profession. To her, watching her pupils recite the alphabet, write letters or short stories makes her day.  She derives her motivation from children. “I love sharing with children because so innocent. Their smiles are genuine. I can tell my pupil is happy or sad by just reading their work,’’ she says. She says her childhood teachers and foster parents inspired her.

Her uncle Hajji Kibedi, with whom she stayed, after her dad passed on was a teacher. She says Kibedi often told her she would make a good teacher. Born in 1976 in Bugweri, Iganga district to Zaitun Kakaire, kakaire is the third born of 33 children. Her dad, a sub county chief, died when she had just completed Primary Seven.  After obtaining a Grade Three certificate, she taught at Kawempe Decorous; then Kawempe Modern. She was a head teacher when she left Modern. She joined her current school in 2004.

Challenges
Kakaire faced her biggest challenge as a teacher on reaching Ttula. Shifting from her life as a head teacher back to a classroom teacher was difficult. Besides, the new school was hard to reach. And it had a small population. However, she has weathered the storm. “I divide my pupils into small manageable groups to utilise the few copies of books we had. I supplement this with my own creative learning aids to make learning better,” she says.

To motivate her learners, Kakaire awards the best readers with stars. She draws the tally of these stars on a wall. (See earlier post on ‘reading for pleasure’).

Kakaire also brings her pupils’ creativity to life by teaching them how to make their own books. The pupils make the books from gunny bags (kavera) The teacher makes a mini exhibition, where the pupils show off their crafts. The pupils with the best craft is congratulated by the teacher in the presence of the whole class.

  Ttula school boy with a Pelican Post book.

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One Response to “School Teacher Madinah Kakaire is a teaching hero!”


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