Uganda introduced the use of mother tongue as medium of instruction in primary schools in 2007. This was meant to promote interaction and participation in the learning process and improve children's proficiency in reading and writing. Drawing elements of interaction and participation from the socio-cultural theory, the child-centred pedagogy was introduced. This intervention, however, did not yield the expected results. Children taught in the local language still had problems in reading and writing. A participatory action research framework was used to gain insights into the child's learning to read and write within a re-emphasised child-centred pedagogy. In this paper, we argue that involving children at individual and group levels, conducting continuous assessment and using appropriate instructional materials help children to learn and improve their proficiency in reading and writing. Some pupils, however, still find difficulties in reading three syllable words, constructing simple sentences and punctuating their work. For the children to improve their proficiency in reading and writing in their mother tongue, the teachers need to use more instructional materials, carry out continuous assessment in small groups and design learning activities that promote children's interaction and participation.