"Government schools are better. They can't send you away like in private schools," replied Miss Issa of Sisimba Public Primary when I asked her to compare her experiences in both private and public schools over the past 14 years.
Government schools in Tanzania pay greater salaries than most private schools, and the absence of unionization for private school teachers mean that their job isn't tenured regardless of their performance as in government schools. Nevertheless, the teachers at Umoja Private Primary we visited chose the reduced salary and job security for the "work environment, trust, and freedom. I feel free here. When there is a problem we can solve it. And we get our salaries on time" Mr. Mtambo of Umoja remarked.
I'm always fascinated to talk to educators about how and why they chose their career in teaching. There's no silver bullet to improving educational outcomes for all kids in the countries we've visited, but one thing is for sure: educators are the biggest and most important asset.
Pictured: The moment you walk back into class from lunch