Abdul Karim, a teacher with City Parents Primary School emerged ‘Champion Teacher’ of the 2017 Fresh Dairy Schools Program after successfully mobilising his pupils to collect the highest number of yoghurt tubs. Karim won a cash prize of 3,000,000 UGX which he says has changed his life.
In this Q&A, Karim expounds on the importance of nutrition for school going pupils and how taking part in the Schools Program changed his life along with the life of his pupils and school.
Fresh Dairy recently launched the 2018 Fresh Dairy School Program which educates children on nutrition and the benefits of consuming 1-Yoghurt-a-Day. City Parents has been part of this Program from its inception in 2017, briefly tell us how the school has benefited from being part of the Fresh Dairy Schools Program?
Karim: Fresh Dairy did a big job to include City Parents Primary School in the Fresh Dairy Schools Program. City Parents Primary School emerged runners-up in the program and attained a prize of text books worth 1,900,000 UGX. Teachers have been using the text books as reference books while the children read them and take notes. As well, City Parents attained publicity by being part of the program, the school made history.
Poor nutrition is one of the issues that affects pupils’ health in schools. How has the Fresh Dairy Schools Program helped tackle this issue in your school?
Karim: City Parents is a primary school with children starting from daycare to P.7, this is a growing age bracket where someone needs all the nutrients because they help a child to build both academically and physically. The Fresh Dairy Schools Program has taught the children about nutrition and nutritious products such as yoghurt which can help in the children’s growth.
What are the benefits of encouraging good nutrition for school going pupils?
Karim: To a school going child, a healthy mind helps me as a teacher because if I am teaching a child that is healthy, it will ease my work. For example, children that are nutritionally challenged can have problems with concentrating in the afternoon regardless of how many examples you give them.
City Parents Primary School emerged runners-up in the Fresh Dairy Schools Program for collecting a huge number of yoghurt cups. How many cups did your school collect and what did they win?
Karim: The school collected over 1,000 cups which we used to make a train, the Eiffel Tower replica and the buildings surrounding it. The school won text books worth 1,900,000 UGX.
What was your motivation to build those models out of the Fresh Dairy yoghurt cups?
Karim: We had very many tubs and the options were many but as a teacher, you are expected to be unique. I searched the internet and singled out the Eiffel Tower as something unique. My motivation therefore was to make something that would stand out.
You won a cash prize of 3,000,000 UGX from Fresh Dairy for mobilizing your school to collect the highest number of yoghurt cups as part of the Fresh Dairy Schools Program. What kind of tactics did you use to mobilise your students?
Karim: I curved out special time to go around the classes encouraging pupils to collect tubs. Second, I made sure to use a special persuasive language that would persuade parents to buy yoghurt for their children. As well, I constantly reminded the pupils of the prizes they would win if they diligently collected tubs. I also had a list where I regularly registered the names and numbers of pupils who collected tubs.
Did you face any challenges whilst mobilizing pupils for the Fresh Dairy Schools Program?
Karim: Yes. Balancing between my class work and mobilizing pupils to collect tubs for almost the entire term was quite challenging. As well, cleaning and storage was another hurdle as the tubs were very many. We also incurred some small costs in buying the material required to build the models.
How has receiving the cash prize of 3,000,000UGX from Fresh Dairy impacted your life?
Karim: I used the money to buy materials to construct myself a 3 bedroomed self-contained house in Kyengegwa. I am left with roofing the house, soon it will be complete. In addition, I attained a lot of publicity, almost everyone at the school knows my name. As well, I was promoted to teaching a candidate class by the school administration which promotion I strongly believe could have been encouraged by the dedication and determination I gave to the Fresh Dairy Schools Program.
Do you have any advice for teachers and pupils who are taking part in the Fresh Dairy Schools Program?
Karim: I encourage the teachers and pupils to continue with the program doing all that they can to achieve the best. This program greatly benefits the children because it will improve their health and when their health is good, their academics will also improve.