Primary school teaching

Tanzania (T10) | View map
PRICE FROM
£199 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
MINIMUM DURATION
1 month

Volunteer as a primary school teacher at this small grass-roots school

  • Volunteer to teach in this charming school in Africa
  • A very humble but worthwhile project
  • Ideal for gap year students or those wanting to gain experience teaching to younger children
  • Located in the shadow of Kilimanjaro
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Project summary

This is a primary school serving the poorest children who fall outside of the public education system. Many of the children come from disrupted backgrounds, having been pushed out of the family home to live on the street or with relatives, or from poor single parent families. The school provides a uniform and exercise books for the children.

The school consists largely of one large, airy corrugated ‘shed’, albeit clean and cheery from a modest amount of decoration. It is split in to four areas to serve the four age groups, each with a blackboard and benches. When all classes are working it is noisy and industrious.

Despite the obvious hardships, the school has a wonderful positive atmosphere, under the supervision of four teachers who provide a clear and caring attitude to the schooling.

The day starts with some of the children tending the garden. At ‘registration’ the children come together to perform a medley of stretching, songs and mini-presentations, before marching into school (grinning).

They try to teach all subjects in English, (except Swahili). Subjects are English, maths, Swahili, reading (in both languages), bible studies, applied science (i.e. that which is relevant to Tanzania, about health issues, disease etc.), ICT (technology taught from a book), sports and personal development and vocational studies (sewing, arts & crafts, writing).

Volunteers are welcomed to teach English and Maths and any other subjects the volunteers feel capable to lead from the basic text books provided. After school, volunteers can visit the children’s care home nearby that Outreach support and provide after school support, teaching, homework clubs, sports and arts & crafts to some of the more disadvantaged children.

This is ideal for those volunteers taking a gap year, who want to help teach these children in a positive and charming environment, and volunteers wanting to experience a flavour of Africa when volunteering abroad.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers lead and support lessons. Lessons are 30-45 minutes long, typically delivered from a text book in small class sizes. The head teacher shares what exercise they are focusing on and the volunteer is able to lead the class through this. Alternatively, volunteers can sit with the children and provide coaching to individuals who require extra help.

Volunteers can develop ideas for games, songs, arts & crafts and lead sports activities in the appropriate lessons and breaks. Volunteers can offer ideas to the staff to develop the school (for example the current timetable was developed by a previous volunteer).

 

Finally, volunteers can interact with the children outside of lessons, just hanging out and having fun.

How you can make a difference

The activities and interest of volunteers helps in a number of ways. You directly support and enhance the children’s learning, from both leading classes and offering 121 support. Volunteers give the children confidence through their engagement and encouragement. You can make their lives (and yours) more fun. Few people have discretionary time to give these children – creating games, activities and playing sports in the available break time will quickly bring a smile to the faces of children who have a lot of challenges in their lives.

What is distinctive about this project:

This is an intimate and positive project. Its size means volunteers really can make a difference, by leading and supporting small classes and individuals in their learning. It is located in a nice area of Moshi, near the volunteer accommodation, providing a good introduction to volunteering in Africa.

Blue Tiger Features:

This is a really attractive project due to the friendly atmosphere and intimate classroom setting. The head teacher is supportive of volunteers and will be keen to see you lead from the front, although you should be sure not to get out of your depth. It is often most effective to provide additional support to those children who may find it more challenging than others.

It is important that volunteers in Tanzania recognise they inevitably assume a role of authority, and should be sure to match this with their commitment to delivering a high standard of performance.

Season:

School is closed April, August and December

Languages:

Learning the very basics of Swahili would be an advantage, especially for giving instructions. The younger children will not speak English, although they need to learn it from you.

Experience required:

Teaching experience is desirable, so as to add value to the teachers and school programme, but is not essential for volunteers looking to help teach the young children.

You do need to be confident and assertive with the children in order to lead classes. Experience working with or supporting younger children in any capacity is helpful.

Good to know:

This project closes early afternoons, and volunteers have an opportunity to then support one of the orphanages nearby, to help provide homework classes and recreational activities, or to stay and prepare classes for the following day.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks
£1,350£1,870£2,390£2,910

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support.

Excludes: Required temporary work permit (CTA) payable locally, $250 + $50 administration charge for < 90 days. Higher rates apply for volunteers staying > 90 days

Things to see and do

  • Go safari
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Discover coffee
  • Hot springs
  • Laka Chala
BenJee Cascio

Country co-ordinator

BenJee Cascio

Benjee has a first degree in Psychology and a Masters in Economics, Policy, Management and Society, specialising in Sustainable Tourism Development, from the University of Oregon, USA. He has worked on development projects in Spain, Nigeria, Jamaica and Uganda before settling in Tanzania. He now lives in Moshi, is the managing director of our medical research project and through this has close connections with our other Tanzania initiatives.

About Tanzania