Tanzania’s sprawling plains and beautiful savannas are insanely picturesque. Tourists from around the world travel to the country to see its abundant wildlife or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the “Natural Wonder of the World”. While Tanzania offers several adventurous activities for the tourist, visitors who want to truly explore and understand Tanzania’s culture should spend some time in its local communities.
Tanzania has an extremely young population—over half of its local people are under the age of 15. Because of this, there is a shortage of labor and increasing costs of educating the young population. Since its independence, the Tanzanian government has heavily emphasized education as a necessary stepping-stone to increase social and economic development.
While several initiatives to improve the Tanzanian education system have been set in place, economic woes have kept the government from reaching all of its goals. With that said, there are many opportunities to teach abroad in Tanzania and help improve the education that local Tanzanians receive. Teaching in Tanzania is a great way to gain invaluable international teaching experience.
There are several opportunities for international teachers to volunteer with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education. Since the government is planning to expand educational programs to new communities, many more teachers are needed to assist with instruction and supplemental education activities, including sports coaching or art workshops. Teaching abroad in a Tanzanian public school is a great way gain international teaching experience as well as impact several children’s lives.
Private Language Academies/National Institutions:
While most Tanzanian children are educated in government primary schools, they must pass the Standard VII exam to be admitted to a public secondary school. For those who do not pass the exam, attending a private school is the next best option. Other private schools are geared towards students who are looking for additional school resources, smaller class sizes, and more advanced material. There is a high demand for international teachers in private schools to teach English. Most teachers with a university degree prefer to teach in Tanzania’s private schools as they tend to pay a higher salary.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
The best way to look for a teaching opportunity in Tanzania is to apply to a teaching program that can arrange specific teaching placements with local educational institutions. While most of the hiring for teachers in Tanzania occurs before the beginning of the school in August or September, many of these teaching programs may have application deadlines well before then.
There are some TEFL training programs offered on site in Tanzania that provide training and certification courses before placing you in a teaching position. Most teach abroad opportunities in Tanzania require teachers to obtain at least a Bachelors degree or an equivalent teaching credential. Qualifications for teachers in private schools may vary. For the most part, simply having the passion to teach and a basic university education will take you a long way!
Salary and Cost of Living:
Monthly average salary: 30,000-90,000 Tanzanian shillings
Most teaching opportunities in public schools are offered on a volunteer basis. If you apply for a position through a teach abroad program provider, there is the possibility that you will be given a minimum stipend to help cost basic living costs. Tanzanian teachers in government schools have historically been paid low salaries whereas private school teachers tend to earn more. Often times, salaries are dependent on your qualifications and the amount of teaching experience you have, so they may vary from 30,000-90,000 Tanzanian shillings.
Average Cost of Living: The cost of living in Tanzania can vary greatly depending on where you stay. Given an average teacher’s salary, living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s bustling metropolitan city, is much more expensive than living in a local village. Volunteer teachers in Tanzania tend to go to more rural communities, where the standard of living and cost of living are both lower than average and international private school teachers tend to reside in metropolitan areas. Below are some examples of costs in Tanzania in USD for your convenience. Keep in mind that 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 1,617 Tanzanian shillings.
- 1 bedroom apartment rent: $275
- 1 inexpensive meal: $3
- 1 way transportation ticket: $0.25
Classroom and Work Culture in Tanzania:
- Student/teacher relations: Students and teachers maintain relatively formal and respectful relationships in schools. In private schools, where the student to teacher ratio is much smaller, teachers tend to know their students on a more personal level.
- Dress Code: Teachers in Tanzania dress conservatively at all times. Women dress especially modestly since the majority of the Tanzanian population is Christian or Muslim.
- Greetings: Students utilize titles when greeting and addressing teachers. For the most part, the classroom remains a friendly yet formal environment, and students are expected to show respect for their teachers.