Unesco forecasts acute primary schoolteachers’ shortage

16Apr 2016
SYLIVESTER DOMASA
The Guardian
Unesco forecasts acute primary schoolteachers’ shortage

EDUCATION experts have warned of widespread primary schoolteachers’ shortage across the country, as schools struggle to acquire more teachers to meet pupils’ academic expectations.

The Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Prof Joyce Ndalichako

According to new projections by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Tanzania will need at least 406,600 teachers by 2030.

According to a 2013 HakiElimu report, the country has only 171,000 primary schoolteachers and over 57,000 in secondary schools.

The move to increase teachers’ employment come 2030 follows the pace at which both private and public schools are enrolling students, especially with free basic education from primary school to form four.

Agency for Development of Educational Management (ADEM) official Simon Kulian said during a two-day training for primary school committees in Dar es Salaam recently that there was greater challenges in managing and running primary schools across the country.

“The shortage of schoolteachers, coupled with the huge number of pupils, makes the mater even worse,” he said, calling on stakeholders to complement government efforts towards improving the education sector in the country.

The expert further noted that teachers were not given priority; however was optimistic that the new government ought was likely to heed their pleas.

The training, organized by the Organisation for Community Development (OCODE) in collaboration with Weeworld Tanzania, was meant to improve the committees’ capacity to monitor and oversee primary schools in their respective areas.

Mtamboni Primary School Headteacher Emmanuel Munisi said the training would help look into new modalities to advance pupils’ demands in the classroom.

He said while the average ratio of teacher per pupils was 1: 40 the obtaining ratio was far higher, with available number of classrooms being another challenge.

“We are required to have 45 pupils in one classroom but the actual situation now is at least 80 pupils in one classroom,” he said.

Martha Kussaga, Kinondoni Municipal Education Officer, said the municipality was taking efforts to improve teachers’ ability to handle the situation whilst working on beefing up the number of teachers.

She said the current target is to increase pupils’ performance.

She thanked OCODE and Weeworld calling other institution and organisation to compliment government efforts to address challenging facing public schools.

Weeworld Programme Officer Agnes Victor said the training would be conducted in eight schools in Kinondoni Municipality as a pilot project.