Education International
Education International

Tanzania: Significant move to curb teacher shortage

published 16 January 2013 updated 17 January 2013

The national government in Tanzania plans to hire and deploy over 28,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools starting in January 2013. This move should reduce, by more than half, the shortage of teaching staff in government schools.

According to the Directorate of Presidential Communications, the country has a shortage of 57,177 teachers in government schools, a problem that the State has pledged to eliminate in the coming few years. The new teachers will be drawn from various universities in the country.

Trained teachers

“According to the available information, all of them are trained teachers,” said Ezekiah Oluoch, acting General Secretary of the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU). “Out of 28,000 teachers to be employed, over 11,000 are diploma and degree holders in education, as qualified professional teachers. Over 16,000 will be deployed to teach in primary schools in mainland Tanzania. They have completed a two-year training course in education hence they qualify to teach in primary schools in Tanzania.”

He underlined that TTU is closely monitoring the deployment of these teachers. “However, we still need almost 50,000 teachers for secondary and high schools in the country, while over 150,000 teachers are needed in primary school. Currently, there are over 171,000 primary school teachers, over 57,000 secondary school teachers and over 1,500 tutors for teachers' training colleges.”

Priority for certain regions

Addressing thousands of residents at Barafu stadium in Igunga, Tabora Region, President Jakaya Kikwete said that the regions with the greatest shortage of teachers would be given priority in the allocation. The Tabora Region is one of the regions with the most critical shortage of teachers, with the deficit reaching 2,055.

President Kikwete also told a public rally that the government is also confronting other problems in the education sector including a shortage of laboratories, a shortage of residential houses for teachers, and text books for students.

EI: Teacher shortage across Sub-Saharan Africa

“We support the Tanzanian authorities in their struggle to ensure quality education,” said EI Chief regional coordinator Assibi Napoe. “This can only be achieved by making sure that enough qualified teachers are recruited and given decent salaries. The Government in Tanzania must understand that the primary responsibility for quality education lies in its hands.”

Two million teachers are still needed to achieve universal primary quality education for all across the globe by 2015 - 55 per cent of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, Napoe insisted.