Tanzanian teachers learning education doesn’t pay

Like their colleagues in many other countries, public school teachers here lead huge classes for shrinking pay. Some warn they won’t put up with it much longer.

Children practice their English at Bunge Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Public schools throughout the country are crowded, and the average student/teacher ration is 48 to 1. (Jacob Kushner/GlobalPost)

ARUSHA, Tanzania — Five days a week, Caroline Benedict Kessy stands before a class of 77 third-grade students and struggles to devise a way to teach all of them how to read and write.

The other two days she spends at home baking wedding cakes to sell. Each cake earns her an average of 300,000 shillings (about $187 US). That’s equivalent to half her monthly teaching salary for just one day of baking.

She isn’t alone. Kessy, 46, is among the tens of thousands of public school teachers in Tanzania who face monumental class sizes for meager pay. Many work two or three jobs to supplement their income, and some quit education altogether.

“Someone was working here for three years and then she (gave) up to sell stationary and phones,” said Kessy. Now, “she’s making more money than we do.”

Read the full article as it appeared at GlobalPost.