Benefits of teaching in Africa
Diary submitted by Laurynas, Barcelona
One of the more interesting places to teach English, in my opinion, is Africa. It’s cultural heritage, and unique landscapes seem to be more than enough to spark an interest to experience it all first-hand. It is a vast continent, therefore it would be naïve to think that requirements for teachers are similar all over. They vary from country to country and greatly depend on the economic situation of each and every one of them. For example, teaching conditions in South Africa are the most difficult ones in general. Most schools do not have the basic teaching equipment, and quite often the teachers have to use only their imagination, accompanied by the chalk and blackboard to teach. Also, not every student has a pencil, and those who do, tend to have pencils that are all chewed up and very short. Often the whole class has only one eraser, so the speed of the lesson slows down due to the fact that everyone is waiting.
Poverty plays a significant negative role in the class because children often come hungry and without adequate rest to benefit from classes, due to overcrowding and having to sleep with many siblings in one room. It seems like all these problems and a lack of resources can be a big challenge while teaching, but it is not without its rewards. Other, wealthier countries of Africa have an abundance of opportunities for less adventurous types. Even though Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the region, it still offers free accommodation and the salary of around 250 dollars, which apparently, is enough to live comfortably, though the teaching centres are often located far away from the cities, because only 10 % of the country’s population lives in cities. On the other end of the spectrum would be Senegal, offering impressive – up to 25’000 – salaries with health insurance and refunded flights. Most schools require over two years of teaching experience, and it is common that they ask for an official certification as well. For those who are interested in financial rewards, Tunisia adds an extra benefit of tax free salary of up to 25’000 dollars.
Clearly, there is plenty to find for teachers who are looking for financial gain as well as professional satisfaction there, but I think there are better places to work for financial opportunities. On the other hand, working in Africa could give a chance which would be hard to come by anywhere else – to make a difference to people’s lives in a measurable way. Teaching in impoverished parts of Africa would be more than just passing on the language. Having an education in rural areas is not a common thing, and teaching would often be of a general nature as well. Overall it would be a much more rewarding and challenging experience than anywhere else. I would like to think that it would be a life-changing one too.
- THE CHALLENGES OF SOUTH AFRICA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM: http://www.dreamstoreality.co.za/the-challenges-of-south-africas-education-system/
- CHALLENGES OF TEACHING ENGLISH IN SOUTH AFRICA: https://matadornetwork.com/change/5-challenges-teaching-english-south-africa/