Volunteer Teaching in Tanzania
- Placement locations: Arusha, Dar es Salaam
- Types of schools: Elementary, Maasai school run by Projects Abroad
- Age of students: 5-16
- Class sizes: 40 - 50
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: Art, Drama, Geography, Music, Sports, Mathematics
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Projects Abroad is in need of volunteer teachers in Tanzania to teach in local elementary schools or the Maasai School. Our teaching placements are based around the northern town of Arusha and in the coastal city of Dar es Salaam. To teach with Projects Abroad, you don’t need a TEFL or any other formal teaching qualification. Whether you want to do volunteer teaching work abroad during your gap year, career break, or vacation period, you will have an important role to play and your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Projects Abroad has also set up a school for the Maasai children living on the outskirts of Arusha. These children have little or no access to education, so the lessons provided by the volunteers allow the children to gain an education and an opportunity for a better future. This is a unique project that depends on the work of the teaching volunteers.
The impact you have on the lives of your students will take time, but are long-lasting. As you teach abroad, you will also be part of a much wider volunteer network that is making a positive contribution to the communities where we work.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Tanzania
Tanzania’s two official languages are English and Swahili, but many Tanzanians also speak one of a hundred tribal dialects. The main feature of Tanzania’s education is its bilingual policy. Speaking English is crucial to getting a good job in business or the tourism industry. English is also the language of technology, commerce, and administration. Swahili remains the language that keeps Tanzanians in touch with their cultural heritage and values.
Despite the bilingual policy in Tanzania, levels of spoken English vary throughout the country. As a teaching volunteer, you can make a difference helping improve the standards of English in the school where you volunteer.
Did you know? The amount of students in school in Tanzania has rapidly multiplied since school fees were abolished in 2002. In some primary schools there can be as many as 200 children per class and per teacher.
Our Teaching placements are based in and around the northern town of Arusha and in the coastal city of Dar es Salaam. We work in elementary schools and our own Maasai school, so please let us know if you have any preferences when you apply. All lessons at our Maasai school are taught in English. In government schools Swahili is the main language used outside of the English lesson.
Volunteers who can only commit to a minimum of two weeks will automatically be placed at our Maasai school on the outskirts of Arusha. Volunteers who work on a Teaching project for four weeks or longer will have the option of teaching in different educational institutions in both Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Please let us know what your preference is so that we can make arrangements for you.
Your encouragement and some well planned, interesting lessons are often all that are needed to spark an increased interest in the language and a desire to improve. Teaching volunteers in elementary schools often start as classroom assistants helping the local teacher with the English classes and working with small groups of children on conversation based tasks. Depending on your ability and preferences, you may be asked to take the scheduled English classes for a range of ages. In the Maasai school you will be working independently among other Projects Abroad volunteers.
Teaching other subjects such as arts, sports, geography, music, science, math, and drama are possible in Tanzania and can be arranged if you are interested. As a volunteer teacher in Tanzania, you are encouraged to get involved with teaching subjects other than English, as well as organizing extra-curricular activities.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Tanzania Teaching Management Plan.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Tanzania with Projects Abroad
The Projects Abroad team in Tanzania organizes regular workshops for volunteer teachers in both Dar es Salaam and Arusha. The content of the workshops varies and may focus on cultural differences, learning some Swahili vocabulary, reflection, and feedback sessions between volunteers, or practical ideas for lesson planning.
The workshops will provide you with valuable insight into the education system in Tanzania, and the background of the placement where you are working. Some workshops are held at the placement itself so that you can learn from the local supervisors and share ideas.
You can join the Teaching project in Tanzania for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.