Classroom in Tanzania
Tanzanian teachers have said they will strike if the government does not pay them a living wage
Teachers in Tanzania earn as little as $120 a month and sometimes even that is not paid. For example 500 teachers were struck off the payroll because the administration thought they were dead when in fact they are still working in schools. President of the Tanzanian Teachers Union, Gratian Mkoba told reporters: "After we established this blunder, we communicated with the office of the President, Public Service Management who told us that the teachers who have not been paid last month’s salary will be considered this month. We are surprised. This teacher is on duty and it is not him who committed the offence, why don’t they pay them on the spot instead of letting them continue to starve?. How are they going to survive?”
This is typical of the way teachers are treated in Tanzania and all over the Global South. But The TTU are fighting back and demanding a 100% increase in their pay as well as allowances and extra pay for working in remote rural areas. The union also point out that conditions in the schools are woefully inadequate, with a lack of books and desks - leave alone libraries and laboratories - making teaching extremely difficult.
As teachersolidarity reported in 2010: When you consider that Tanzania is the third largest exporter of gold in Africa it is a scandal that teachers for example are not even receiving enough salary to meet their own basic needs – leave alone having the ability to provide a decent life for their families. The Tanzanian government gets only a tiny fraction of the value of the gold under Tanzanian soil – valued at $2.5billion over the last five years while tax revenues have averaged a paltry $21million per year. These arrangements as usual were the result of World Bank intervention together with a UK consultancy firm which produced an act which amongst other things ‘allows 100 per cent ownership of minerals and mines to foreign corporations, preventing the government from entering into joint ventures; the right to employ unlimited foreign personnel and unrestricted repatriation of capital and profits’. This is of course the same World Bank which is promoting Education for All. To read more about this scandalous gift of Tanzanian wealth to foreign multinationals go to the following link: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/59142
Teachers in Tanzania will go on strike at the beginning of July if their demands are not met.