Most times, we only think about what’s happening around us. We forget that sometimes, reality is beyond our immediate reach and what our eyes can see. In this case, I’m not against online or radio teaching but my heart bleeds for the voiceless generation that is being left out.

When I remember how I met my learners and the baby steps I’ve seen them take up, I get restless because I feel that there is a need for them to be supported so as to see their dreams come true.

This pandemic has helped shed a light on the reality of what happens when stakeholders are on the drawing board of our education system and how they easily forget about the underprivileged children. I sit back and see all the plans that have been put in place to enable continuous learning, hoping my learners will be catered for. But they are not known! I’m talking about the children in rural areas, where their families can’t even access a radio, phone, and the network is completely unreliable.

When schools were closed, I remember one of my students asking, “Madam, is it possible for you to go with us to your home so that we can continue studying?”

With so much pain and confusion, I looked into her eyes deeply and promised her that we would keep in touch in spite of my absence and that we would continue our lessons.

With a look of discontent, she wore a hopeless plastic smile.

Shamina is an 11-year-old girl in Primary Five (P.5) at Mitimito Primary School in Mayuge district, in Eastern Uganda. She lives with her grandmother who struggles to put a plate of food on the table. Therefore, having a radio or phone at home is a luxury.

Whenever I remember my promise to her, my heart is heavy! I would love for my learners to have the very same education opportunities that the ‘privileged’ children have. In the end, they will be judged alike.

Together, we can support the children in underserved communities to access learning resources and encourage continuous learning in spite of the extraordinary circumstances.

This article was written by Phiona Mukisa, one of our 2020–21 TFU Fellows. She is a Kampala International University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She is currently an English teacher at Mitimito Primary School in Eastern Ugandan. Phiona is passionate about her work because she dreams of a nation where all children receive a quality education in spite of their economic and social backgrounds.

Teach For Uganda is a movement of Ugandan leaders committed to expanding educational opportunities to all children in Uganda. www.teachforuganda.org