As we walk across the school compound to a tree shade in the middle of the compound, he bends and picks up two bottle tops that are lying on the ground.
Since they are plastic, I immediately think he has a plastic collection centre; since this has recently become a lucrative business. But non the less, I ask him why he has picked the bottle tops.
He smiles and says, “I use such materials during my lessons and in the case of these two, I will use them to help the learners with colour identification, “teacher Morris Erisu, a teacher at Aojapilo Primary School in Abim explains while juggling the two blue bottle tops in his hands.
Now an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) teacher, the 25-year-old, started out as a primary teacher. “I used to teach primary one. However, I noticed that most of the children that joined my class from ECD had a bad handwriting and they also had challenges with readings. These two made learning hard.”
Being a Club Patron for one of the Children Clubs formed by Share An Opportunity Uganda in Aojapilo, Abim District, Teacher Morris benefited from the trainings in child upbringing and early childhood care. “SAO Uganda would also take us for learning visits to different ECDCs. When I saw what was being done in these centres, I realized that I needed to get such knowledge to cause a change in the learning ability on the child I taught.” He therefore enrolled for ECD training.
“I studied five modules of ECD teaching and I am glad that I decided to go back to school because I was able to learn a lot about children.”
He explains that he learnt that children learn more through playing than the conventional teaching methods. This explains why as he walks, he keeps on collecting materials such as bottle tops and straws among others.
“I also learnt that playing aids the development of the language of children because as they play, they keep on communicating, it creates friendship, it develops their thinking skills and the development of their muscles.”
“I also enjoy being around children; I see it as an opportunity to nurture them from a young age. My dream is to ensure that all learners that go through my class get the knowledge that will ease their learning throughout school.”