A secondary class in Tanzania Tanzanian teachers are threatening strike action if salary arrears are not paid The Tanzanian Teachers Union is demanding that salary arrears owed to them are paid and that working conditions are improved. A tanzanian primary teacher earns about $110 a month. The following is an extract from an article in the Tanzanian newspaper the Citizen, entitled Are Teachers being taken for a Ride? by Salome Gregory:  “No one wants to be taken for a ride. I think this is what has been happening to teachers over the years,” says Brightone Bwire, 45, a former teacher, now working as an accountant at a private firm in Dar es Salaam. After serving as a teacher for seven years, he quit the profession citing frustration. “I just got tired of teaching, despite the fact that I had wanted to be a teacher for life.” Bwire says he had worked for five years. But he spent most of his time as a teacher living from hand to mouth, and on debts. This is the lifestyle that has become synonymous with the life of many teachers in public schools. To read the article in full go to: http://thecitizen.co.tz/magazines/33-success/16457-are-teachers-being-taken-for-a-ride.html The Tanzanian Teaching Union (TTU) is demanding that money owed to teachers be paid - the non-payment of salaries in the Global South is a continuing theme on this website - and that teachers get a minimum salary of $285 a month. It is common for new teachers in Tanzania to work without pay for up to six months. Conditions in Tanzanian schools are very bad too - with a pupil teacher ratio averaging 1:100. One teacher told the Citizen: “One of the issues that seem not to be taken seriously is that of overcrowding. In most government schools there are just too many pupils in one classroom. There are too many problems to solve at go, and yet salaries are not good enough." Many teachers are forced to take extra jobs just in order to make ends meet. As this website has already pointed out:   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 Perhaps the World Bank economists who produced the report: Making Schools Work (see previous post) would like to explain how they could function as educators when facing classes of 100+ and earning barely enough to survive.