It’s helpful to fix a building, install a toilet, purchase texts and materials, maybe even provide some soccer balls for play. But without decent teaching, these things improve one’s environment but not one’s chances in life. That axiom holds true anywhere – in the U.S. and in Tanzania.
In Tanzania, the ability to find trained and dedicated teachers is daunting. Prestigious private schools can pay big money to get the cream of the crop – this leaves government and other private schools scrambling to attract teachers in a system short on both numbers and training.
So what can we do? We’re speaking to administrators at teacher’s colleges and working all other contacts (Kenya is a source of teachers as long as a work permit is obtained ) to build a solid, if limited, program of English, Kiswahili and math supplemented by other subjects at the Kilimahewa school. Targeting funds in this direction is a priority. Second, we are structuring one-semester internship opportunities that we can post at U.S. colleges. Education students could share some of the latest teaching techniques with the Tanzanian staff while learning how to teach without all the bells and whistles available in the U.S. – a great opportunity for all.
At its most basic level, sustainability comes from individuals whose education allows them to improve their own lives and better their societies. Good teachers are the key to sustainability.