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Hope and Frustration in Tanzanian Schools

The Challenges of Untangling Colonialism

Hope and Frustration

By Bonnie Bates.  Seventy-five children, one teacher and one teacher’s aide – a typical scene in Tanzanian schools. Kids are eager to learn and the teachers work hard to deliver the lessons, but education does not receive significant government investment. Teachers’ salaries are very low and few have formal training. Curriculums have not been developed in Swahili (the official language of Tanzania); most are leftover from the English colonial system but lessons are no longer provided in English. The pass mark was officially reduced to 28% and still only 22% of students passed primary, meaning most children do not progress to secondary school, and fewer still to university. Those that do face additional challenges, as university is taught in English – a language most do not know. Untangling colonialism can take a long time, but it’s frustrating to see children caught in its lingering web.

About Bonnie Bates (13 Articles)
Currently working towards a Masters in History and African Studies at Carleton University, my areas of interest include North African and Saharan history, gender, identity, culture, politics and language.

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