5,500 'illegal' foreign teachers kicked out of Tanzania
More than 5,500 foreign teachers have been expelled from Tanzania following a decision taken by government to kick illegal immigrants out of the country, according to a report.
Local newspaper The East African has reported that the development followed an order issued to private school owners in the country requesting that they submit work permits for all foreign teaching staff.
According to The Citizen, a work permit in the country amounted to Sh5 million ($2,500), a fee which many schools in the country could not afford.
The teachers were among 6,000 foreigners who had been hired to work in private schools across Tanzania.
The chairperson of the Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-Government Schools and Colleges (TAMONGSCO), Mzinde Mnzava, revealed that one of the disciplines hardest hit by the move - science - had a shortage of approximately 27 000 teachers.
Gratian Mukoba, president of the Tanzania Teachers Union, disclosed that although his organisation was not opposed to government's decision to deport illegal immigrants, it (government) should also be mindful of the fact that foreigners were needed to help train the next generation.
Apart from the issue of work permits, the Tanzanian government also vowed to thoroughly review the qualifications of foreign teachers, with the end goal being to discover whether or not suitable candidates for certain positions could be found within the country.
According to a report by Tanzania's Daily News, Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Stella Manyanya confirmed the government's position, stating that educational institutions employing foreign teachers would be required to show that vacancies had been posted in the media before foreign nationals were found suitable for the positions.
Chair of the East African Employers Association, Rosemary Ssenabulya, has since lamented the supposed "lock out" of East Africans from the Tanzanian job market, stating that the move goes against the East African Community (EAC) Common Protocol that advocates free movement of labour across the borders of member states.