Kiira College Butiki located in Jinja, Uganda is known as The Hill of Intellectual Horizons, it was a secondary school of many wonders, this was a school that wasn’t formally gazetted; we didn’t have a clear school boundary, there was gate that was always open a security officer who always had a ‘sleepy old dog’ or what we commonly call here as askaris that once in a while who controlled the entry and exit of students. But despite all that, students were always in school on time for their classes, attending in person because we were always watched ourselves. Despite the freedom of movement that came with the school, the community around acted a watch dog to the students; always reporting students who stepped out of the school premises and always ensuring that the students stay in school.
The role of the teacher in a positive school-community relationship is extremely important because the teacher is the backbone of the educational system. Although the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda designs policies, their core implementation greatly relies on teachers. In most circumstances, some government initiatives have failed to take off because the teachers either weren’t interested or didn’t understand the core objectives of the projects. Teachers must also be prepared to make the most favorable impression possible in even the most innocent of circumstances in order to maintain public support. The community’s perceptions of the teacher affect their perceptions of the school and subsequently student morale, school resources, and support for the school in general
Based on social psychological and neurobiological models of human development, the role of the teacher is central in the rehabilitation and supporting his or her learners to achieving a desired behavior or personality. A teacher is expected to fill many roles in and out of the classroom, these roles of a teacher can manifest as educator, caregiver, community leader, colleague, and even student. All of these roles work together to help the teacher provide the best education for his or her students.
In Uganda today the teachers almost 9 months of the year with learners, this provides the teacher with a key role in shaping the learners in terms of behavior traits, working with people and career development. This implies that a good quality teacher will guide the learning process of children, making learning relevant and stimulating. The teacher will be able to impart knowledge and skills that will help his or learners to secure their educational rights, improve their health and self-esteem, and gain fair employment. A teacher can also be a role model by embracing the principles of social justice and treating all students equally without discrimination, while encouraging each student’s unique strengths. Indeed, a dedicated and well-trained teacher can provide children with the essential skills to critically analyze, challenge and improve the discriminatory attitudes or behavior that may be present in their homes, schools and communities.
As it is generally agreed that that teachers can shape learning and young people’s lifestyle, there remains considerable discussion in different fora’s at local, national and international as to the national and local-level policies and programmes that best support teachers. Areas of discussion include the level of schooling teachers should have themselves, what length of training they need and what professional development and support they should be able to draw on in order to fulfil these ambitious roles. In Uganda constrained education budgets coupled with the inconsistent and uncoordinated involvement of various actors in supporting teachers further complicate appropriate policy responses.
Teachers would acquire a life Planning Skills and Behavior Change Communication training which is aimed at equipping Student Teachers and Service Teachers with skills and information to enhance on their abilities to deal with different behavior traits of their learners as they grow. The training is a continuous engagement that employs a diversity of methodologies throughout the and among these included; lecture and discussion, brainstorming, group work, question and answer sessions and role plays. It later builds into an aspect of mentor-ship and support from fellow peers.