The Case Study Of Public School Teachers Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Tanzania is on the course to accomplish the UN declaration for education for all and Millennium Development Goals related to education of free primary education for all children by 2015. This has been come true through successful implementation of Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) started in 2001. It had achieved to record the gross enrolment rate (GER) of 106.4 percent and net enrolment rate of 95.4 (NER) percent in 2010 and the possibilities to reach 100 percent by 2015 is obvious. But this remarkable achievement focus only on the quantitative performance, there is a need to think about the quality of education. Education does not mean only a lot of children going to school and finish classes; it means more than that like creating skilled labour force that has the capacity to increase productivity in the country's economy.

Therefore to achieve the quality of education, the most important determinant to consider is the teacher. Teacher plays a prime role to ensure teaching and learning process meet the desirable outcomes; since they're source of knowledge, skills, wisdom, appropriate orientation and role models for the students. However, in developing countries, including Tanzania still teachers facing a number of challenges which significantly harm the quality of education. Low and irregular salary payments, poor working conditions, low status and limited opportunities for professional development are some of the issues impeding teachers to perform their duties wholeheartedly as a results deteriorating of education quality.

This paper will attempt to address the challenges facing the teachers in public schools. Specifically, the focus will be on the challenges of public school teachers and its implications to the quality of education in Tanzania. Finally to suggest the appropriate mechanism and policy measures to be employed so as to achieve the desirable objectives of education.


1.1: Background.

Education is a cornerstone for development in any society. It is the source of skills, knowledge, technology and new innovations essential for socio-economic development in a country. Thus, for a country to achieve rapid and shared growth, investment in education is very important. Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, said that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." [1] 

Teaching is a very important input in the education process. Likewise, the teacher is the heart of classroom instruction (Komba & Nkumbi, 2008). In any education system the availability and quality of the teaching force is an indication of the quality of that system (Sumra, 2006). In most of developing countries, including Tanzania, education means teacher due to the fact that other essential learning facilities such as textbooks, visual aids and other learning materials are limited. Thus teachers play a big role as source of knowledge, skills, wisdom, appropriate orientation and role models for the students. Therefore the quality of education delivered highly depends on the competence and qualification of the teachers.

Since Tanzania gained independence in 1961, the government declared illiteracy as a one of the national enemies; others were disease and poverty. To address this problem the government introduced a national campaign known as Universal Primary Education (UPE). The main objective was to ensure every child gets access to at least primary education which was provided free by the government. In the early eighties Tanzania recorded remarkable achievements in education after becoming one of the countries with a high literacy rate of about 80% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, in the late eighties and nineties Tanzania's education system experienced a number of challenges due to economic hardship and increasing population. This affects ability of the government to provide free social services including education. This situation led to major reforms in the education system including allowing the private sector to provide education services alongside the government. Also, the government introduced school fees to the public schools, colleges and universities.

Furthermore, in 2001 the government implemented five years Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) [2] intended to make primary education accessible to all children. This program was intended to increase enrolment, construction of classrooms, and recruitment of more teachers to ensure availability of teaching and learning materials in the public schools as well as provision of training to teachers. But in recent years the education sector in Tanzania has experienced a number of shortcomings, especially in meeting the required standards for the existing labor market. Many reasons have been raised as responsible for this situation, but it seems the fundamental causes to be concerned with are poor teaching and shortage of human capital deployed in public schools.

1.2: Statement of the Problem.

Tanzania is about to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of attaining universal primary education; but still there are many questions about the quality of education if it will lays a ground base for achieving the economic growth. There are arguments on the quality of education offered. The government has been accused of put more efforts on enrolment expansion, construction of classrooms and ignore other keys factors like teaching, which contributes to a large extent on the quality of education to be delivered.

The statistics shows that, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) increased from 77.6 to 112.7 percent between 2000 and 2009; similarly the net enrolment ratio (NER) rose from 54.2 percent to 97.2 percent in the same period. In secondary education following the implementation of SEDP started in 2004, where the GER increased from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 34.0 percent in 2010 and the NER rose from 6.9 percent to 29.9 percent in the same period (UN Report, 2011; UWEZO, 2011). But this shows one side of the coin 'quantitative performance' how about the other side 'qualitative performance'? There is a need to think about the quality of education which can help people to cope with developmental challenges happen over time.

Experiences and researches shows the quality of education has been deteriorating over time. Disparities among and within the regions and districts has been increased in the recent years. Overcrowded classes, high PTRs, inadequate accommodations for the teachers, shortage of qualified teachers especially in remote rural areas has been witnessed for sometimes now. The 1995 Education and Training Policy "teachers in public schools have experienced low and irregular salary payments, lack of proper housing, inadequate teaching facilities, low status and limited opportunities for professional development."(1995:31).

Nevertheless, the UNESCO GMR Report "agrees and strongly argues that the most important determinant of educational quality is the teacher." (2009:15) Therefore, if is to improve the quality of education, first we have to improve the quality of teaching force. Teacher plays a prime role to ensure teaching and learning process meet the desirable outcomes; since they're source of knowledge, skills, wisdom, appropriate orientation and role models for the students. According to Chung in his book "Education and Development" argued that, "if for one reason or the other, teachers' qualifications are inadequate and if his morale is low, education is doomed to failure to that extent regardless of the abundance ... of other supporting factors."(2010:163). The achievements of students in the class are determined by the way the teacher is performing his/her obligation in and outside the classroom.

Additionally, the PEDP program did not give much attention to the development of professional teaching skills (Komba & Nkumbi, 2008). The situation is more critical still as far as the teachers working in rural areas, where statistics shows the ratio of pupil to qualified teacher range from above 100 pupils to 1 teacher for rural primary schools to fewer than 35 pupils to one teacher for urban schools (URT/UNESCO, 2012). This implies that the workload is very heavy to some teachers who work in remote areas and eventually affecting their motivation to undertake their duties effectively. This threatened the quality of primary education since the sharp increase of extra children caused over-crowded classes, under-staffing in the schools as well as insufficient learning materials.

To address this problem the government created a crash teaching program conducted between 2003 and 2007 to meet the shortage of teaching staff in primary schools. So, instead of a two years training course for grade IIIA teachers, they had to study for only one year and the second year to complete their studies in their working places. This program led to produce under-qualified teachers who lacked some pedagogical skills to teach pupils in primary school.

In a nutshell, education is the central point to development and a key on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But also it is one of the most powerful weapons to fight against poverty and reducing inequality among people in the society. It lays foundation for a country to attain sustainable socio-economic development. In this regard, quality education is very important for developing countries to realize rapid economic growth. But, a number of criticisms have been put forward with regard to poor quality of education in Tanzania such as poor teaching force, low motivation for teachers in public schools, under-staffing to the most of public schools, low payments and poor working environment for teachers especially in rural areas just to mention few.

1.3: Rationale of the Study.

This study intends to address the deteriorating quality of education delivered in public schools. Many reasons have been pointed out behind this poor performance of education system. This paper will attempt to address the challenges facing teachers in public schools. Specifically, to describe how teachers' low salary payments and poor working conditions affecting service delivery in public schools. To study how the low reputation and recognition for teaching professional affecting the quality of education in developing countries and Tanzania in particular; and finally identify the practice that promotes teachers' professional development and its implications to quality of education. In conclusion the study will come up with the suggestion to improve the existing situation and hence increase the quality of education.

1.4: Research Question.

This paper will attempt to answer the following questions based on the studies and literature review conducted by several scholars from both national and international perspectives. What are the problems with salary payments to public school teachers? How do teachers' working conditions affect their teaching performance? How do the limited opportunities for teachers' professional development affect their teaching abilities for the betterment of learning process? And finally, what kind of motivations can be provided to teachers so as to improve service delivery in public schools?

In sum, existence of poor working environment in public primary schools - poor school infrastructure, lack of teaching materials, inadequate housing and accommodation, costs of getting paid their salary, low and unattractive salaries, overcrowding classes, insufficient pre-service and in-service training, low motivation and incentives, low status and reputation from the society are some of problems need to be solved before the education can be improved in Tanzania.

1.5: Methodology of the Study.

The research project will employ secondary data, both quantitative and qualitative sources of data. Secondary data will be collected from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, The President's Office, Public Service Management websites and the Bureau of National Statistics, where by different reports, studies and database related to the research subject.

The research paper will be divided into four parts i.e. introduction which will involves abstract, objective of the study, significance of the study, research questions. Second part will comprise background of the study, where underneath will be literature review and conceptual background. Third part will deal with situational analysis of public school teachers in Tanzania. The last part will consist of summary, conclusion and recommendations.


Education remains an important instrument for ushering developing countries into an integrated global system where science and technology are prevailing. Also, for any society to achieve sustainable development, education is an inevitable ingredient, without which any future growth is inconceivable. For an economy, education can increase the human capital in the labour force, which boost up labour productivity and thus leads to a higher level of output, but also, to improve the innovative capacity of the economy such as knowledge of new technologies, products and processes promotes growth (BEST, 2010). Thus, for the developing countries which are still backward economically they have to put more efforts to improve the quality of education system as the basic step towards achieving rapid socio-economic development.

But, unfortunately the main challenge for developing countries including Tanzania is to afford to provide quality education to the people. The statistics point out that, in developing countries approximately 30 to 40 percent of primary school leavers cannot read, write, or solve simple arithmetic after spent four to seven years in the schools (Adedeji & Olonayan, 2011). Education sector suffers with a number of constraints due to low investment versus high demands caused by fast population growth. This lead to emerging of problems like poor quality and supply of teachers, lacking teaching and learning materials, poor school infrastructure and facilities, low payments and poor working environment among teachers especially in public schools. All these and other factors contribute to the poor quality of education in public primary schools in Tanzania.

Thus, this paper will focus on the challenges facing public school teachers and its implications to the quality of education system in Tanzania. Different studies shows that public school teachers working in an environment of genuine constraints caused by low salaries payments and motivations, schools lacking essential infrastructure such as electricity, teaching and learning materials, teachers lacking sufficient pre-service and in-service training, classrooms are often overcrowded.

Different scholars argued about the importance of teachers as the essential attribute to realize quality of education. The ultimate goal of any education system is to ensure that children develop their cognitive, emotional and social capacities and acquire the skills they need to realize their potential (Komba and Nkumbi, 2008). Schools are the primary institutions where the children can achieve this goal depend on their teachers' ability to deliver adequate service. The research has shown that the quality of our teachers is the most important factor to realize that students get quality education (Adedeji & Oloniyan, 2011).

In the OECD book titled "The Quality of the Teaching Workforce" the high quality of educational system in any country is depends to the quality of workforce (OECD, 2004). Moreover, the achievements of the students in the class are greatly influenced by the knowledge, skills, characters and commitment of the teachers. Likewise, in the UNESCO report insisted that, teachers are in the frontline and contingent on what happens in the classroom in order to achieve the ultimate goal of delivery good-quality education. It is added that, to improve student performance, does not mean only to have enough teachers and reasonable pupil-teacher ratio; it also needs to have teachers who are well trained, motivated and highly respected in the society. However, the situation is unusual for the teachers who working in developing countries including Tanzania, where teachers always plays a big role in the students' learning process due to the fact that other essential learning and teaching materials such as textbooks, visual aids, computers are very limited.

Salaries and working conditions plays a prime role for attracting, retaining, developing and retaining high-skilled and motivated teachers who are very important ingredient in the provision of quality education (OECD, 2011). In most of developing countries teaches are poorly paid in public schools which is said as one of the factors de-motivate them to work hard (Haugen et al, 2011). Evidence shows that primary school teachers are one of the cadres which receive a minimal salary among public servants in developing world. For instance in on surveys from six countries in Africa (The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), the survey revealed that, teachers are paid much lower when compared to other professionals with similar numbers of years of education (Sonyolo, 2007). For example in Zambia the averagely gross salary for primary, lower-secondary and upper secondary teachers is $ 200, $ 300 and $ 325 respectively. This is very far from the poverty line calculated based upon a comprehensive budgetary projection for a family to meet the essential requirements which stands at $ 375 per month (Haugen et al, 2011). The familiar axiom among teachers is said that "teachers take home the pay that cannot take them home." (Adedeji & Oloyanin: 2011:58)

Additionally, unlike other professionals, teachers they do not have even non-wage benefits such as overtime payments, house allowances, hardship allowances. In most of developing countries is common for the teachers in public schools to involve in other income-generating activities (such as small businesses, extra-curricular classes) so as to supplement their income. This kind of extra-time activity leaves little time for planning and preparing for the classes, which automatically affects teaching quality (Haugen et al, 2011). Similarly, an extra-hours activity also contributes to the common problem of absenteeism in public schools, as the teachers absconds their class duties busy struggling for hunting additional work to raise extra income and hence resulting into absenteeism both for teachers and students because poor attendance of teachers can even discourage the students to attend in the classes. Additionally, in developing countries teachers' absenteeism is estimated to costs between 10 percent and 24 percent of education expenditures in primary schools. For instance, in Zambia teachers' absenteeism problems estimated to cause the losses of 17 million dollars annually, that is almost o.31 percent of the Zambia's GDP (UNESCO, 2010).

Low salary payments may affect quality of education in different ways. Sometimes it becomes an obstacle for qualified teachers to join public schools. As a result teaching tends to recruits those who did not get chances in other professions where teaching becomes their last resort. (Mulkeen, 2010). Likewise, in some countries public teaching jobs are better paid, but in other countries private school pay more than in public schools. For instance, in Tanzania the private schools pays salary twice as compared to public schools and this has negative severe effects to public schools since few qualified teachers tempted to work in private schools (Haugen et al, 2011). OECD (2004) found that teacher who are paid better usually staying for a long time in a teaching profession as compared to who are have potential to get high-paid careers. In Liberia, it is reported that many of graduates in education degrees and teachers upgrades to university level decided to move to Non- Government Organizations, where they expect to get high salaries and other fringes (Malkeen, 2010). Vagas in the book, argued that, "salaries may act as morale boosters or motivators for teachers already in the classroom or increase teacher effectiveness through increased social recognition" (Vagas and Petrow, 2008:106). Both teacher pay and working conditions can affect individual's choice to become a teacher and remains in the teaching profession (UNESCO, 2009; Vagas and Petrow, 2008).

Furthermore, Poor working condition has remains as one of the major constraints for the developing countries to improve student learning outcomes. For instance, most parts of Africa teachers are experience poor working conditions in public schools - usually work in dilapidated structures with few desks, books, or overcrowded class (Haugen et al, 2011). The problem is solemn in public schools particularly located in remote rural areas where majority of people reside. McAwan (1999) assert that, appropriate of housing is the best way to attract qualified teachers to work in remote rural areas particularly for single women. On the other side the poor working conditions can fuel another problem of high unequal distribution of workforce, since few teachers will be prefer to work in remote rural areas. The student-teacher ratio in rural schools is exceptional larger for the teachers to manage the class (McAwan, 1999) which eventually affect the quality of teacher's work. In Malawi, the student-teacher ratios have raised to averagely 76 to 1 in 2006, though the government efforts to increase the number of qualified teachers. In Uganda, there were 48 pupils per teacher, where only 68 percent were qualified teachers (Malkeen, 2010). Likewise in Lesotho, the government has been able to recruit new teachers, but the gap between the qualified and unqualified teachers is still rising. By 2007, the student-teacher ratio had been declined to 42, whereas only 60 percent were qualified teachers in primary schools (Malkeen, 2010). The student-teacher ratios have significantly effects to the achievements of student in the class. One research done in the United States confirms that the class size is one of the factors affecting the students' performance. The smaller the class sizes the better the test scores the students' attains in mathematics and reading (Rivkin et al, 2005). In remote areas poor working conditions - housing, classrooms, availability of support staff, quality of facilities and instructional materials are common problems in public schools (OECD, 2004). Adedeji and Olayanin commented that, "teachers in many developing countries are working in poor conditions that are aggravated by poor remuneration; delay in payments of salaries, allowances and promotions; scarce teaching and learning and disrespect from the government, parents, and community at large." (2011:16).

The shortage of qualified teachers in public schools is hindering efforts of developing countries to achieve the quality education for all (EFA) as emphasized by the United Nations. The EI Global Monitoring Report 2008 admitted that, "quality education cannot be achieved without adequate numbers of properly trained qualified teachers."(2008:8). In Sub-Saharan Africa between 1999 and 2006 the teachers worked in primary schools have been increased to 2.5 million which is 29 percent increment. Nevertheless, the statistics points out that, in spite of these increases, still there is a shortage of 1.6 million primary teachers and can rise to 3.8 million by the year 2015 (Adedeji & Olaniyan, 2011; OECD, 2008). Most of the countries in Africa continent have severe teachers' shortage which make difficult to attain successfully the global agenda of universal primary education (UPE) programs by the year 2015 as it is stipulated in Millennium Development Goals. For instance, in three countries of Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda statistics reveals there is a need to creates more 153,000, 127,000 and 92,000 teaching posts respectively if they had to achieve goal number two in the MDGs by 2015 (Adedeji & Olaniyan, 2011). In addition this, due to severe shortage of teachers; the governments in these countries decided to recruit unqualified teachers to fill the gaps which have negative implications to the quality of education delivered. In Uganda, during implementation of universal education programs in 2000s, the government decided to recruited untrained teachers in the initial stage of the program due to shortage of trained teachers (Malkeen, 2010). OECD (2004) affirms that, for the countries affected by severe shortage of teaching workforce the most vulnerable are the students from the disadvantages and remote areas. In most cases students from these areas usually find themselves in the classes with inexperienced and unqualified teachers. Other people who are likely to be affected are students from minorities and immigrants groups since they denied their right to access quality education (OECD, 2004). Globally, between 2010 and 2015, 114 countries will need to generate at least 1.7 million new teaching posts in order to realize quality education for all children (UNESCO, 2012). The figure no. 2.1 below shows the number of additional teaching posts in primary schools by the year 2015, whereas six out of ten additional teachers are needed in Sub-Saharan Africa countries.


It is common to find overcrowded classes in developing countries particularly in public schools which give teachers hard time to provide quality education. According to UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers, "on average one-half of sub-Saharan countries reporting data have fifty or more pupils per class in primary school." [3] The class size varies greatly across the region, from 26 pupils per teacher in Cape Verde to 84 pupils per teacher in Central African Republic. The teacher attrition [4] has said to be one reason for the shortage of teaching workforce in the most of developing countries. A high attrition rate fuel the shortage of teachers in public schools in disadvantage areas. Therefore effective measures should be taken by policymakers to figure out the best way to retain the qualified teachers. The specific country strategies can be employed to attract and retain the best teachers through improving management of teaching workforce (UNESCO-UIS, 2012). The main causes for teachers to leave their jobs are isolated working conditions and low salaries in the most of public schools. The UIS usually project the attrition rate at the 5 percent, but currently in some countries the rate rise up to 17 percent as it was affirmed in the UNESCO-UIS that:

"Sub-Saharan African countries reporting data indicate that substantial proportions of teachers are leaving the public school sector; with annual attrition rates between 3% and 17% ....Conversely, working conditions, civil services status and other incentives may contribute to attracting and retaining." (2012:7).

These high rates of replacement can result in the recruitment of less experienced and unqualified staff which has significantly effects to the attainment of universal education programs. In addition to over-crowded classrooms, many developing countries have multi-grade classes, [5] which adding more difficulties for pupil and teacher. For instance, approximately 50 percent of primary-level classes are multi-grade in Chad, in the Congo Republic - 32 percent, the Central African Republic - 30 percent and Madagascar - 28 percent [6] . It gives teachers difficulties to teach students of different grades in the same class and to students hampering their cognitive thinking because of inequalities of age and levels.

The quality and quantity of teachers has significant effects to the learning outcomes of the student. The achievements of students in the class are highly determined by the quality of teacher. This is obvious in the most of developing countries where essential teaching and learning materials (such as text books, computers, and visual aids) are limited in the majority of public schools. Therefore, effective delivery of education service is mainly depends upon the quality of teachers. The quality and quantity of teachers focuses on the three key factors: teacher recruitment, deployment of teaching workforce, and condition of service delivery by teachers (UNESCO-UIS, 2006). To start with the deployment of teaching workforce, in the most of developing countries face difficulties to attain equitable supply of qualified teachers (Malkeen, 2010). Students from the least developed and remote rural areas normally affected since, most of qualified teachers reluctant to work in hardship locations. Uneven deployment of teachers usually results into high pupil-teacher ratio in rural areas. Hence amplifies inequities in provision of education between the urban and rural population. For instance, in 2006, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania had the average pupil-teacher ratio in urban schools of 46:1, 40:1 and 43:1, while in the rural schools had the average ratio was 83:1, 93: and 60:1 respectively (Malkeen, 2010). This disparity between urban and rural tells only one side of the story; on the other side the situation is very severe within and between the rural districts where the pupil-teacher ratio sometime stands even up to 129:1 in Ukerewe district in Tanzania (BEST, 2010). In the figure below shows the variation of pupil-student ratio in some of developing countries.

Figure no 2.2: Variation in District Average Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) in Primary School.

Source: Malkeen, A. (2010).

In the researches and different reports confirm that, the advancement of access to quality education is highly depends to the way the government attracting and retaining competent people in teaching career (Zafeirakou, 2007). Still, teachers play the significant role as compared to other resources involves improving schools. The UNESCO-UIS admit that "teachers are the most important resource in education reconstruction" (2006:24). There are growing concerns that teachers in developing countries are increasingly de-motivated, which reflects to deteriorate of teaching performance and learning outcomes. Motivation [7] and recognition is very important to induce teachers' morale to work hard and in highly committed to the attainment of school's learning outcomes (Bennell and Mwakyanuzi, 2005).

Another possible explanation pointed out that teachers have experienced low and irregular salaries, lack of appropriate housing, inadequate teaching facilities, low recognition from the community and limited opportunities for professional development. Several studies suggests teachers' attrition usually happens because teachers quitting from teaching due to huge salaries and alternative employment opportunities. According to OECD 2004, the empirical studies suggested that relative pay can influence: (i) the decision to become a teacher; (ii) the decision to remain in teaching: those teachers who paid well stay in teaching longer; (iii) the decision to return to teaching after a carrier interruption (2004:4). Teacher Professional Development can play a crucial role to motivate teachers since it gives chance to attain new knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and dispositions (Komba and Nkumbi, 2008).

Non-monetarily incentives can be also offered to encourage teachers to work hard, offers, bonuses, or gifts like career development opportunities, tourists safaris, valuable items (camera, television, motorcycle), can be used to induce teachers' morale. In India non-monetary incentive program proved its effectiveness after reduced the teacher absenteeism and improved student test scores (Vagas and Petrow, 2008). From that project, the government used simple financial incentive to reduce teachers' absenteeism and stimulate more teaching and better learning in the classrooms.


3.1: The Background and Education System of Tanzania.

Since independence in 1961, the educational system has been passed over different transitions based on the political and economic changes happening over time. These changes can be categorized into three main phases; the first was from 1961 to 1967, which the emphasis of the government was to reform the education system so as to relieve inequalities among the people stipulated by colonial education system which was based upon racial segregation (Nguni, 2005). The second phase started from 1967 to 1990, where education policies were emphasis on the 'Education for Self-Reliance' as one of the government efforts to build a socialist state. Within this period of time the priority was put on attainment of universal primary education (UPE) by engaging in massive enrolment, rapid expansion of schools and abolition of racial based education system (TEN/MET, 2007). In this period the government took several actions to improve education system including nationalized all private schools with exception of few schools owned by religious organization. To achieve UPE the government took the following measures as summarized from the handbook Transforming Policy and Practices: A Guide to Education Advocacy in Tanzania by TEN/MET:

Universal primary education becomes compulsory and all school fees were abolished.

Massive enrolment of children into the newly established and poorly resourced schools.

Para-professional teachers were recruited to tackle the massive increase of pupils. (2007:9).

In this period Tanzania recorded remarkable achievements in education after becoming one of the countries with high literacy rate of about 80 percent leading other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The third phase covered the period from 1990s to present; it was within this period where the government made major changes on its economic policies from socialist-oriented to free-market economy known as structural adjustment programs (SAPs). These changes resulted into various reforms in educational system including cut-down of government expenditures on social services, allowing private schools and universities and re-introduce of school fees to the public schools. Therefore in order to reduce the impact of this transformation the government decided to start a holistic education sector development program (ESDP). These initiatives led to the introduction of twin education development programs PEDP and SEDP in 2001 and 2003 respectively. In 2002 the government re-introduced free and compulsory primary education resulting in huge increases in enrolment (Nguni, 2005; Ten/Met, 2007). The impact of these efforts results on the large expansion in students' enrolments with net enrolment ratio rose to 97.3 percent in 2007 from 58 percent in 2000 in the primary schools (BEST, 2010). However, there were concerns that the quality of primary school declined of overcrowded classes, high pupil-teacher ratio, para-professional teachers and insufficient school infrastructure and facilities (Komba and Nkumbi, 2008).

In Tanzania the structure of the formal education and training system constitutes two years for pre-primary, seven years for primary education, four years for junior secondary education, two years for senior secondary education and at least three years of tertiary education. Specifically, the education system has three levels, Basic, Secondary and Tertiary levels. Alongside with formal education there is non-formal education for adult people who lost the opportunity to get a formal education. Kiswahili is the language of instruction in primary schools and English is taught as a compulsory subject in all classes. But, some of the private primary schools use English as medium of instruction famous known as "English Academy." In Secondary Education, English is used as a language of instruction except for Swahili subject; at the end of each cycle the students write examinations which are national standardized examinations before jump to the next level. Similarly, English is the language of instruction at universities, higher learning and polytechnic institutions.

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (METV) has the legal mandate for policy formulation, coordination, monitoring, setting standards, quality assurance and quality control of the whole education system. However, local government authorities (districts, town, municipal and city councils) are responsible for management and delivery of primary and secondary education services within their areas of jurisdiction. Also the ministry through its teachers' training colleges is responsible for training, recruiting, deploying teachers in the public schools across the country.

3.2: Public School Teachers in Tanzania: Briefly Situational Analysis.

The Tanzania agenda for development as it is stipulated in the Development Vision 2025 aims to build up a well educated nation and attain a high standard of living for all citizens (Malkeen and Chen, 2008). Yet now a great progress has been made to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) number two and three on primary education enrolments. This comes as a result of successful implementation of PEDP from 2001 - 2006 which enable to increase net enrolment ratio to 97.2 percent in 2009. However, as country still there are challenges facing education sector including the low quality education. Teachers are said to play a central role in the process of provision of quality education services. But still in Tanzania public teachers are encountering problems which affect teaching and learning process.

3.2.1: Administration and Management of the Education System in Tanzania.

Several ministries, non-governmental organizations, and communities are involved in the management and administration of formal education system. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training plays principal roles for policy formulation, coordination, monitoring, setting standards, quality assurance and quality control of the whole education system (UNESCO-WDE, 2011). It is also responsible for supervision of the higher education, teachers training and management of teaching workforce; curriculum development, examination management and school inspectorate (Woods, 2007).

The management of pre-primary, primary, secondary and out-of school education is confer under the control of the Ministry of Prime Minister's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG). It oversee the work of the local authorities which are responsible for day to day to the operations of primary and secondary schools such as resources mobilization, management of teachers, financing and payment of school supplies (Woods:2007:12). Teachers are employed as government staffs on the permanent pensionable basis; receiving monthly salary according to fixed scales basing upon specific qualification. Usually there is annual salary increment and three years promotion subjective to his/her job performance or/and career development. According to BEST 2010, there were 165,856 public teachers in primary schools and 30,252 in secondary schools (BEST, 2010).

Teacher training is conducted in the teaching colleges, universities and high education institutions both state and private-owned. Basically, teachers' training is divided into three main levels:

(i) Grade 'A' teachers are the ones who had completed 4 years of secondary education and undergone training for two years in a teacher's education college (TTC). After successful completion of two-year course he/she awarded Grade IIIA Teaching Certificate' and they qualified to teach primary schools. According to the education policy of 1995, Grade A is the lowest teaching qualification to primary schools in Tanzania. The minimum entrance qualification to Education College is division three in the ordinary level certificate of secondary education examination - CSEE [8] (Komba and Nkumbi 2008; URT, 1995).

(ii) Ordinary diploma teachers are those who required to have completed at least advanced level of secondary school (form six) and acquired two-year professional course of teaching training from teachers' education colleges or universities. Diploma teachers are trained to teach secondary schools and teaching colleges (Nguni, 2005).

(iii) The third level of teachers is university-graduated teachers who are studied education degree with either major in arts or science. The graduates' teachers are usually recruited to teach in secondary schools and/or teaching colleges.

According to Basic Education Statistics of Tanzania (BEST) report, there were total of 92 teaching colleges where by 34 were publicly owned and 58 privately-owned. For instance, in the 2010 enrolment in government teachers colleges increased by 18.8 percent as compared to previous year of 2009. Out of the total enrolment 63.3 percent are diploma students, 34.95 percent are Grade A and 1.7 percent are taking special education (BEST, 2010).

Moreover, in Tanzania public school teachers' represents approximately 95 percent of all teachers in primary schools and 75 percent in secondary schools. The government is the main employer of teachers, where teaching staffs constitutes approximately 60 percent of all public civil servants. Currently both primary and secondary school teachers are employed by the local government in respective district councils.

3.3: Challenges facing Public School Teachers in Tanzania.

In the Education International Global Monitoring Report 2008 and other studies and papers has confirmed that the practice of "teacher recruitment, their working conditions, their appropriate remuneration, as well as the quality of their initial and continuous education are crucial factors if the quality of learning is to become a reality for all" (EI GMR:2008:2). However, the EI GMR 2009 asserts that ... many countries face a crisis of teacher morale that is mostly related to poor salaries, working conditions and limited opportunities for professional development." (2009:10)

In Tanzania teachers in public schools are experience a number of challenges when exercising their duties. These includes poor working conditions, low payments and other fringes, limited opportunities for professional development, low motivation and work recognition from the community.

3.3.1: Working Conditions - Teachers in public schools has been experiencing unfavorable working conditions hence negatively affecting their work performance in due course the quality of education. The 1990 World Bank study admit that, "most teachers find poor working conditions more discouraging than their salary levels."(Bennell and Mwakyanuzi, 2005:20). Presence of overcrowded classes, high pupil-teacher ratios, improper housing; inadequate supplies of textbooks and workbooks is common to most of public schools. The situation is very pathetic in more remote rural areas, where almost 93 percent of schools are located. Teachers experience terrible moment due to the lack of clean water, poor housing and inadequate accommodation; and lack of social amenities like medical care, good roads and access to electricity.

Furthermore, some of teachers reluctant to be posted or fail to report to their duty station located in rural areas with a number of reasons like suffering chronicle illness, marital reasons and lack of accommodations. For instance, in the 2008 World Bank report on Teachers for Rural School shows the critical shortage for teachers' houses especially in rural areas. In 2005, Tanzania had a total of 32,064 schoolteachers' houses; this is only 20 percent of requirements of 161,396 schoolteachers' houses countrywide. In rural areas where is difficult to get even a room for rent the shortage is 75 percent (Malkeen and Chen, 2008). Similarly, the study done by SACMEQ II in 2007 indicated shocking results that, only 3 percent of standard (grade) six pupils in schools had use sole mathematics textbooks down from the 7 percent in 2000. This is very far from the country benchmark of 100 percent and SACMEQ countries average of 41 percent. In this situation teachers end up use much time copy the notice on the board instead of concentrate to teach students especially those slow learners (SACMEQ, 2011). The empirical study affirms that "... access to books has shown to significantly improve learning." (p116)

It is upon such context that the research conducted by SACMEQ [9] in 2007 sought to examine the quality of education provided in primary schools revealed unequal of PTRs between the urban and rural public schools. The study discovered that in the year 2000 the mean pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in primary schools was 47:1 which was above the country's benchmark of 40:1. However, in 2007 the country mean had risen to 63 pupils per teacher which is very far from the country benchmark. Nevertheless, the study disclosed the huge variation between the urban and rural schools, whereby the mean PTR for urban schools stood at 46:1 while in rural schools the situation was worse than in urban schools (71 pupils per teacher). The country mean pupil-teacher ratio of 63 was very far above the SACMEQ countries which was 43 pupils per teacher in public schools (SACMEQ, 2011). Likewise, the figure below shows the average number of pupil in standard 6 per class in different zones in Tanzania Mainland.

Figure no 3.1: Average Number of Standard 6 Pupils per Class in Tanzania (Mainland)

Source: SACMEQ (2011:4).

From the above figure it obvious that there were huge variations of the number of pupils per class among regions and zones, whereby Southern Highland recorded highest average of 71 and the Central zones had lowest average number of 45. However, the overall mean number of Tanzania was 56 pupils per class which was higher than SACMEQ mean number of 46 pupils per class. Different studies and researches proved that small class size guarantee the maximum teacher-pupil interaction to enable the teacher to attend each individual learner's needs (EI GMR, 2008).

Poor working environment has also facilitating another problem of uneven distribution of teachers in public schools. Teachers usually tend to move from disadvantages and remote rural areas to more well-off urban areas; normally resulting into acute shortage of teachers that also affecting the learning outcomes. For instance, in the figure below illustrates the pupil-teacher ratio between the peripheral districts, the national average for rural district and national average for urban districts.

Figure no 3.2: Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTRs) in Primary School in Some Remote Rural District

Name of the Districts

Pupil/teacher ratio

Ukerewe district


Chato district


Manyoni district


Uyui district


National average rural districts


National average urban districts


Source: Basic Education Statistics of Tanzania (BEST: 2010)

Source: Basic Education Statistics of Tanzania (BEST: 2010).

The situation is more critical still as far as qualified teachers are concerned especially in rural areas where there was acute shortage of qualified teachers. The pupil to qualified teacher ratio (PqTR) ranges from more than 100 pupils per teacher in the remote rural districts (Bahi, Ulanga, Nanyumbu, Ukerewe, Manyoni, Urambo, and Uyui districts) to less than 35 pupils per teachers in some of urban districts. For instance, in 2006 out of 10,510 qualified teachers posted to different district councils countrywide, only 7,271 (69 percent) were reported to their respective duty stations (Curlitz, 2009). This exacerbated the shortage of qualified teachers in rural schools reflected in higher pupil to qualified teacher ratio in rural schools. For instance, Dar es Salaam city (urban) it has 68 percent of qualified teachers as compared to 38 percent in Lindi region which is located in upcountry (rural).

3.3.2: Low salary payments and other fringe benefits - In most of developing countries including Tanzania, teachers' salary is considerably below the level to ensure their motivation to work hard. Generally speaking as compared with other professions (doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants) the teachers' salaries in Tanzania is relative low and, unfortunately they also lack other fringe benefits that other civil servants enjoys such as adequate housing allowances, transfer allowances, lunch allowances, leave allowances, and hardship allowances. The situation seems to be more terrible in rural schools where teachers they have to travel quite long distance to the district centers where most of banks are located to collect their monthly salary, which is costly in terms of money and time but nobody refunds all these additional costs. This is one of the factor demoralized teachers in public schools and some of them decide to move to private schools which are better off in term of salaries plus other benefits. In the figure below illustrates the sharp increase of teachers (particularly qualified teachers) in private schools due to attractive remunerations and good working conditions.

Figure number no 3.3: Number of Teachers in Primary Schools in Tanzania 2008 - 2010.

Source: Basic Education Statistics of Tanzania (BEST: 2010).

This figure shows, from 2008 to 2010 the rate of increase of teachers in private schools is more than threefold (24%) of the rate of increase in public schools (6.5%). Likewise, this may also expected to affect the education system since some of qualified teachers are likely to find another occupation, be absent, or late to work, or not do expected work in the classroom to meet the learning needs of the students hence adversely affecting the quality of education (Bennell & Mwakyanuzi, 2005). Empirical studies suggest that, the teachers' salaries can influence who enters the field and how long they will remains in the teaching (Vegas, 2008).

Though the ratio of salary for primary teacher pay to GDP per capita is 6.1, which is higher almost twice the as compared to the Sub-Saharan average (4.2) and the Field Track Initiative (FTI) benchmark indicator of 3.5 units (UNESCO/URT, 2012). But when comparing with other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is evident that public schools teachers in Tanzania are getting minimal salary and other remunerations. Only with the little information, the figures below show the average salaries for teachers in different levels (primary, lower and upper secondary schools) in Tanzania and other neighboring countries in sub-Saharan African. Despite the fact that the cost of living varying from one country to another but the data in the figures below gives overview of teachers' salaries in Tanzania as compared to other countries in different categories in public schools (primary, lower and upper secondary).

Figure Number 3.4: Teachers' Gross Salaries per Month in US$ in Some of African Countries (2005-2006).

Source: Sonyolo, D. (2007:56)

From the table above, out of the six surveyed countries, Tanzania has recorded the lowest monthly gross salary rate of US dollar 20, 95, and 125 for primary, lower secondary and upper secondary teachers respectively.

Figure Number 3.5: Average Monthly Income of Qualified Primary School Teachers in Selected African Countries 2004 - 2006, (US$ per month)

Source: Bennell and Ntagaramba (2008:25).

As shown from the figures above it is apparent that, teachers' salaries in Tanzania are lowest as compared to other countries with exception of Sierra Leone and Rwanda. Conversely, in neighboring countries like Kenya, Uganda and Zambia teachers' salaries are relatively higher than in Tanzania. Additional to this, in Uganda teachers get 20 percent and 30 percent of their salaries as s housing and hardship allowances respectively (Sonyolo, 2007).

As a result of low pay, some of teachers are not teaching well, and even cases of absenteeism arise. For instance, in Tanzania the government pays salaries through electronic transfer via banks. Therefore, teachers from rural areas need to travel long distance to collect their salaries from district centers in each month. Sometimes they have to spend three or more days waiting for the salary when it is delayed. In this regards teachers forced to miss a number of classes in every month. In the meantime, students would losing a lot of valuable learning time which eventually affecting their performance. This is said to be one of the major causes of teachers' absenteeism in rural schools (Sonyolo, 2007). But on the other hand, this becomes a burden to teachers since they have to incur additional costs which they have to deduct from their little salary. These contribute to disgruntle qualified teachers to join teaching profession or posted in remote schools.

According to the study conducted on effects of increase of salary and incentives of the teachers on learning outcomes, the research findings revealed as follows:

"In Chile, a salary increase of 156 percent associated with 39 percent increase in number of teacher-education applicants and 16 percent increase in average test scores applicants. Similar test-score increase not observed among applicants to other university programs." (Vagas and Petrow: 2008:128).

3.3.3:Limited opportunities for professional development - Teacher professional development can be defined "as the process of improving both the teacher's academic standing, competence and efficiency ... so as to allow him/her to discharge professional obligations in and outside the classroom."(Komba and Nkumbi, 2008:70). Professional development gives opportunities to explore new roles, increase new teaching skills, improve their practice, and broaden their mindsets both as professionals and individuals (Komba and Mwakyanuzi). In education system teachers' education plays a prime role to ensure quality education for all. Nevertheless, in the most of the developing countries education programs usually used to neglect the teacher education and professional advancement. The experience has shown that even in the 'World Declaration on Education for All in 1990' the continuous preparation of teachers received little attention (Kruijer, 2010). Besides, Vagas and Petrow argue that, "the initial education of teachers is only first steps in a series of important steps allow teachers to grow and develop professionally over time."(2008:117). Then the need for teachers' professional development is inevitable since it gives teachers competence, confidence and make them improving the standards of the job performance.

In this regard Tanzania during the implementation of the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) from 2001 to 2006 focused on universalization of primary education; the program did not put much attention on development of teacher professional (Komba and Nkumbi, 2008). The government just put more concentration on enrolment expansion, recruitment of teachers, construction of classrooms, and provision of teaching and learning materials. Nothing has been done about provision of in-service training to the existing teachers to equip them with new changes happen within and out of the teaching professional. It is common to hear that a teacher work for twenty or thirty years without get chance to attend even three days workshop to improve his/her teaching skills. In this regard, if as a country in order to improve its education quality should put more emphasis on teaching workforce since teacher is the heart of the classroom instruction. (Komba and Nkumbi, 2008).

The effectiveness of the teacher depends on the competence to cope with the changes and challenges happen in the class not even the pre-service training. Therefore, for the short while the best way of improving the existing school performance is to improve the current teaching workforce rather than recruit new teachers. This is due to the fact that, the teacher who is well trained and professionally updated can easily handle class of pupil above the recommended ratio. Consequently, in-service professional development is essential because it gives opportunities for the teachers:

"to update teachers' knowledge of subject matter periodically, in light of new development in the field; to update teachers' skills in light of new teaching techniques and educational research; to help teachers apply changes made to curricula; to enable schools to develop innovations in teaching practices; and to help weaker teachers become more effective." (Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning 2011:12).

According to Malkeen and Chen (2008), teachers from the rural schools they have less advantage as compared to their fellow from the urban schools though urban schools represent less than ten percent of total schools in the country. It is easier for the urban teacher have to access to further education and training opportunities than their rural counterparts.

3.3.4: Low motivation and job recognition from the community - Learning is the process involving interaction between the teacher, students and sometimes parents or community in general. The teacher is the central point required to engineer the teaching and learning process in the classroom. Therefore, learning achievements can be determined in the classroom by motivated teacher who plan for teaching by put in to practice what they have learned in the teaching college. But the teachers' motivation remains as ignored factor in all level of policy intervention (Oluech, 2006). Consequently, becomes responsible factor for the rapidly declining of the status of teaching profession among young generation.

For instance, in Tanzania nowadays most of bright students do not prefer to join teaching and yet becomes the last resort among applicants. Teacher motivation and job recognition helps to retain teacher in their work places through provision of the material and psychological needs does not necessarily being payments. Such kind of things like bonuses, gifts, and study opportunities can be use as a means to attract bright students to join teaching and even to work in remote rural areas. However, in less developed countries public school teachers' motivation is said to be low and it is been detrimental of the quality of education (Oluech, 2006). The situation is more serious in the developing countries Tanzania in particular, where high-quality applicants refuse to join or retain in teaching profession. Many who join profession use it as a stepping stone or stepladder to join other lucrative jobs such as lawyers, accountants.

According to the 1990 World report on Teachers' Conditions of Service asserted that, in absence of motivation to teachers which can be used to induce them to perform better; the quality of education will deteriorate since de-motivated teachers is the major contributing factor to the poor learning performance of students in primary and secondary schools (Bennell and Mwakyanuzi, 2005). Unlike other neighboring countries, in Tanzania there is no any allowance or bonus is paid to public school teachers as a means to motivate and encourage qualified teachers to work in remote rural areas. In other countries the government attempted to use some incentives to make rural areas attractive to live and work for qualified teachers. They have different forms of incentive such as financial or material incentives (hardship allowance, travel allowances, housing subsidies) and non-material incentives (special study leave, training opportunities). In the figure below shows the different forms of incentives allocated to the rural schools in the some of the East and Southern Africa countries.

Figure number 3.6: Incentives to Encourage Teachers to Work in Rural Location.

Source: ADEA Biennale (2006:15).

As shown from the above table is only Tanzania where teachers working in rural areas paid nothing as motivation to work in remote rural areas. In Malawi, though no financial incentive offered, but the government provides housing where help to attract teachers to work in rural areas. The EMIS data reveal that there is strong correlation between availability of good-quality housing and presence of female teachers in rural school in Malawi (ADEA, 2006).

4.0: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations.

4.1: Summary of Findings from the Study.

The paper has been sets forward to describe the challenges facing teachers in public schools in developing countries and its implications to the quality of education. Specifically, the focus was on the challenges facing the public school teachers and the way it affects the quality of education in Tanzania. The study focused on the four issues: teacher salary payments and other fringe benefits; working conditions; opportunities for professional development and motivation and recognition among the public school teachers and how is affecting their job performance hence the quality of education.

In addressing these issues the research study seek to answer the following research questions: (i) what are the problems with low salary payments to public school teachers? (ii) how do teachers' poor working conditions affect their teaching performance? (iii) how does the limited opportunities for professional development affecting teachers' performance hence poor quality public education? And finally, (iv) what kind of motivations can be provided to teachers so as to improve service delivery in public schools?

This research paper is mainly use of the secondary data surveyed from the books, academic journals, articles, working papers, reports, and website. The paper is made to document what have learned after thoroughly surveyed of different literatures aimed at public school teachers in developing countries. The results from the literatures review highlight the following findings:

Generally, as other developing countries, Tanzania is experiencing the huge of shortage of qualified teachers in public schools both for primary and secondary levels. This come after implementation of PEDP and SEDP led to rapidly expansion of enrolment in primary and secondary schools in 2000s. The expansion of enrolment does not consider the supply of qualified teachers hence the government end up recruited para-teachers or crash program teachers.

Teachers' salaries are generally low and unattractive as compared with other profession hence teaching becomes the last resort for many young applicants. In comparison with other neighboring countries, Tanzania teachers in public schools are paid lowest salaries and other fringe benefits. For instance, according to 2005 - 2006 statistics, the average salaries for public teachers was US dollar 20, 95, and 125 for the primary, lower secondary and upper secondary teachers respectively. In this regard Tanzania recorded the lowest salary rate among East and Southern African countries. Unlike other countries teachers does not get even hardship allowance to enable them to cope with pathetic working environment especially in rural schools. This demoralized teachers' working morale and discourage the competent candidates to join teaching profession.