26 January 2013

Tanzania: Schools Without Teachers

Ward-based secondary school increases demand for teachers tenfold

Arusha will be among the up-country regions to benefit when the government starts deploying nearly 30,000 new teachers before the end of this month.

And if you are still hanging your teaching certificates on the wall, it is time to dust them up and prepare to be hired for the job. Apparently the state is working to enlist 30,000 fresh Primary and Secondary School teachers this month and these are expected to take up their teaching posts countrywide from next February.

But if any of the new tutors were hoping to work in Arusha, Mwanza or Dar-es-salaam cities, then they should brace for some disappointment. "All the new teachers to be employed will be posted to up-country schools and especially in rural districts," Deputy Education Minister Mr Philip Mulugo announced here last weekend.

"You will be surprised that Dar-Es-Salaam and other urban centers boast the highest concentration of teachers in the country yet the area has recorded some of the poorest performances in the Form Two grade examinations," Mr Mulugo stated.

And the soon to be enlisted 28,746 new teachers, according to the Deputy Education Minister, are still a far cry to satisfy Tanzania's gaping demand of trained tutors to serve in 4637 Secondary and nearly 12,000 Primary Schools countrywide.

"From now henceforth we are going to focus on sending teachers to rural areas until each school in the districts is fully sufficient," said Mr Mulugo, pointing out that the ongoing exercise to construct ward-based secondary school has increased the demand for teachers tenfold.

As for the suggestion to start using English as teaching medium right from Primary School level, in order to boost the language knowledge, the Education Minister ruled it out as unnecessary.

"Tanzanians used to perform well in English in the past and under the same system, so the problem here is not when the language should be used, but rather how serious our pupils and students are in class," he said.

But Mr Mulugo also pointed out that, in the past, there used to be 'Eight Weeks' orientation course for English subjects in the 'Form One' grades but he was also surprised that nowadays the arrangement has been 'killed,' for some reason.

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