Tanzania Teacher Shortage Reportedly at 80,000 Vacant Posts

Brian Lüdtke

Brian Lüdtke

Owner and Founder, Dodoma.com

15 May 2019

Education is not a way of escaping poverty, it is a way of fighting it.”
 Julius Nyerere 
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela
Tanzanian schoolgirls enjoy conversation and morning porridge

In Parliament this week, Presidential Deputy Minister of State Mwita Waitara reported a shortage of 80,000 public school teachers in Tanzania.  

Primary schools bear the brunt of this gap, with 66,000 vacancies, while secondary schools lack 14,000 instructors. 
Already, according to UNICEF, approximately two million children ages 7 to 13 are out-of-school. This is equivalent to the entire population of The Gambia or of Lesotho. The rates of schooling decrease as children get older.
An award-winning Tanzanian teacher

Only 3.2% of children attend the final two years of secondary school. UN data indicate that Tanzania has actually been backsliding since 2007, when it had achieved near-universal access to primary education.

Earlier this month, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Anna Mghwira suggested that some teachers lack competence to instruct adequately, stating, “Teachers are even here demanding for salary increases, but they produce pupils — after seven years in class — who can neither read nor write,” as quoted in The Citizen. Her statement did not address the possibility that pay increases, to attract sufficient numbers of highly-qualified teachers, might constitute one element of a solution for illiteracy.

Tanzanian secondary school girls (Dodoma)

The U.N. projects that by 2100, Tanzania will have approximately 100 million children, ages 0 – 19, while the total population will be over 300 million. (Already today, there are almost 40 million children in that age range, while the total Tanzanian population is about 60 million.) Thus, in 2100, there would be more children in Tanzania than the total population of Japan, which should have about 85 million inhabitants (only 15 million of whom will be aged 0-19, or 15% as many children as in Tanzania.)

Maths, primary school (Dodoma)
Girls attending a boarding school in Dodoma Region, Tanzania
Tanzanian girls attending boarding school

Tanzania will also have more children than in the United States, which is expected to have about 95 million kids in 2100.  Nigeria, with its 220 million children in 2100, will outpace Tanzania.  Tanzania will have more than half the number of children in China, which should have less than 200 million youth in 2100.

A Tanzanian teacher at the chalkboard, Dodoma, Education
A Tanzanian teacher at the chalkboard (A primary school in Dodoma)

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