Huge boost for education in Jambiani

With education at the forefront of ZAP's activities, we have been always been aware that the  standards of English and Maths in Jambiani schools are extremely poor, mainly due to the scarcity of properly qualified government-funded teachers.  It is vital that young children receive a good grounding in both these subjects.  English in particular is absolutely critical for the childrens’ future prospects since it has been decreed by the government that ALL Tanzanian exams must now be set and written in English. Poor English is also a real barrier to gaining employment in the growing tourism industry in Zanzibar.

Attempts to rectify the situation in the past by sending out volunteer qualified English teachers to Jambiani have met with only mixed success, despite everyone’s best efforts. The language barrier, unfamiliarity with the Tanzanzian curriculum and lack of co-operation on the ground, so to speak, prevented any real progress being made.

Thanks to Julia Upton’s wonderful legacy, ZAP has now been able to supply the village Primary School with two splendid extra teachers. It took months of intense head-hunting and negotiation with the Ministry of Education but eventually Mr Pandu and Mr Topu succeeded in finding two very well-qualified men – both Zanzibaris - with the necessary skills and experience to make what we hope will be a real difference.

Their brief is not only to teach classes themselves but – critically – to improve the teaching skills of the existing staff.  Their qualifications require salaries at a slightly higher level than the government would pay, and we received proper handwritten applications and impressive CV’s from them both.  Importantly, they live reasonably nearby (Bwejuu and Makunduchi) and we have high hopes of them.  Early reports are most encouraging.

In addition to guaranteeing the new teachers’ salaries for an initial period of one year, ZAP will provide educational resource material, including textbooks.  With a bit of luck this year will see a quantum leap in standards, and if the experiment is a success, we shall look at ways to extend their employment into the future.

As ever, this new project will be monitored closely by Mr Pandu, and by ZAP personnel on field trips; regular updates on progress will be published both here on the website and in our newsletters.


Mr Muh'd Rajab is a former English teacher who was an advisor at the Teachers Centre, with extensive experience of teaching both students and teachers. He has recently retired from full-time teaching at a private school in Stone Town, though he continues to teach privately at home.


Mr Jaffar Moh'd Issa has been working at the Charity School in Bweju, and has much experience of teaching both Maths and book-keeping, either in English or Swahili.

ZAP Directors
October 2013


ZANZIBAR ACTION PROJECT is a Registered Charity in the UK No. 1108030