The Sad Reality of 98%Schools in Tanzania

Imagine you’re stood in front of a class of 40+ primary school children. None of them speaks English and you don’t speak a word of their native language. You have one textbook, a blackboard and two pieces of chalk. Now, teach!

The Reality


Unfortunately, this is the reality in many sub-Saharan African schools including Tanzania. The classrooms are dirty, dusty and desolate. The resources are scarce but the number of children is large. While you scan the class, you can see some bright eyes that are eager to learn because education is a luxury they often miss out on. Other eyes are weak, tired and hungry.

Nevertheless, they all want to learn. They want to speak English as they have been told by their families that English is the key to unlock many opportunities in life and have a better future.

But, how? When the resources are few and far between. How, when the teachers are unqualified, unmotivated and underpaid?

Tanzania School 2The Tanzania Story


Tanzania holds a wealth of culture, joy and incredible landscapes. The schools have hundreds of children looking forward to having a real opportunity to learn. If one child misbehaves, the entire school is sent to the fields to work. If they remain in the classroom, their teachers spend 20 minutes writing on the board for the children to see, from that one lonely textbook. And that’s if the teachers show up at all.

What could it be?


Now imagine you’re stood in a magnificent country, within a classroom, or outside – it really doesn’t matter. You have 40+ children in front of you and none of them speaks a word of English. You hand out textbooks to small groups. You read to them. They begin to read to you. They learn through pictures, imitations and actions. You stick it out for a while and you notice they’re learning to read. You are changing their lives forever. Now, you can breathe.


After spending 6 months teaching in Tanzanian schools, I learnt all too quickly about the downfalls of the system. The resources were scarily low, but the children were amazingly motivated. Wider access to children books and other learning tools can make a huge difference in their education and their lives.


Learn how you can impact positively the education of children in disadvantaged communities here: https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/projects/


Written by: Leanne Davey