PAKWACH. A section of parents in Pakwach district have expressed worry over the progress of learning for lower primary classes through radio stations.

The parents complained that the programs are carried in Alur language as opposed to their preferred English language which they argue will have an effect on the pupils in future.

The thematic program strengthening education system for improved learning (SESIL) as it’s named for primary one to three mainly focuses on the use of a child’s mother tongue to impart knowledge.

Mr Allan Opiyo, a parent of four lower primary pupils said the methodology of the learning is totally confusing to both the parents and the learners as the dialect used is hard to internalize through radio and insisted that thematic learning will drastically lower performance in national examinations since learners may not ably interpret the set questions in English.

"The program doesn't fit our set-up; the children can't see what the teacher is illustrating and above all, its timing doesn't favor most of the learners. It mostly finds them either playing or helping their parents in garden activities and in my view, it is a waste of time," Opio stressed.

"I want the government to develop a method of following the children in each village and do correction of what is taught than relying on us parents who can't read and write. This is a shame and failure for the children," he added.

Ms Matilda Akwero from Pajobi village Pakwach town council questioned the routine teaching of the same topics for the whole week, saying to some of the learners, it was more like an advert than a normal teaching in which they are to learn new things.

She said the practice has marginalized many families in rural areas who lack radios to enable the smooth learning process.

Akwero has appealed to the government to speed up the process of giving free radios to every home stead or suspend the radio teaching altogether.

However, Mr Maxwell Atia, the Pakwach district inspector of schools acknowledged having received similar complaints like parents switching off their radios as soon as the learning starts but cautioned them to desist.

"SESIL has come to supplement on what government has done, as a parent your role is simple, get the children closer and let them feed well and understand the whole process," he said.

Atia said they have recommended for learning both in English and local language to cater for the rest of the learners who are not well versed with the thematic learning.