Wahamiaji haramu: Kuna dalili za walimu wa kigeni 10,000 walioajiriwa Tanzania kufukuzwa

About 10,000 teachers face expulsion in the crackdown on illegal immigrants, private school owners said yesterday.

The Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-Government Schools and Colleges (Tamongsco) told The Citizen that the crackdown would have serious repercussions on private English medium schools.

Tamongsco secretary-general Benjamin Nkonya said most schools could not afford the $2,000 (Sh3.2 million) fee for a two-year work permit required for foreign teachers.

“A school with ten foreign teachers, for example, cannot afford to pay $20,000 (Sh32 million). We have appealed that the fee either be scrapped or reduced,” he said.

School owners brought the matter to the attention of President Jakaya Kikwete in Mbeya last year, and were still waiting for a response, Mr Nkonya added.

He said Tomongsco members told President Kikwete that they had no option but to hire foreign teachers to work in private English medium schools due to a shortage of local tutors.

The teacher to student ratio in Tanzania is 1:40, with a demand of 23,546 teachers. There are 13,657 teachers, which is only 58 per cent of requirements.

This has prompted private schools to employ 9,889 teachers from neighbouring Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia.

Mr Nkonya also accused police and immigration officers of mistreating and humiliating foreign teachers, saying some had been handcuffed in front of their pupils and bundled into police vehicles.

“This is not only humiliating, it also had an adverse psychological effect on pupils, especially those who were sitting the Standard Seven national examination,” he said.

However, the ministry of Education and Vocational Training said it was not in a position to help private school owners who have employed illegal immigrants.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Mr Bunyanzu Ntambi, said foreign teachers should not expect preferential treatment and must abide by immigration regulations.

“Foreign teachers are not exempt from immigration regulations. There is not much the ministry can do. It is up to school owners to think how best they can handle the situation,” he said.

But Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadick said yesterday that foreign nationals found with expired work permits would not be immediately deported, and would be given an opportunity to renew them.

He told The Citizen that 527 illegal immigrants had been arrested since the operation began in the city on September 1.

In another development, criminals have been cashing in since the operation began in Dar es Salaam early this month.

Gangs masquerading as immigration officers have been extorting bribes from illegal immigrants by threatening them with arrest and prosecution.

Some have hounded foreigners out of their homes and proceeded to loot the houses. The harassment is particularly prevalent in the city’s Kinondoni and Mwananyamala areas.

“They have been knocking on doors and introducing themselves as immigration officers. They demand to see work and residence permits. Those who don’t have them are forced to part with tidy sums of money,” said Mr Juma Abdallah, a resident of Mwananyamala ‘A’.

Yesterday, Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Suleiman Kova told The Citizen that several people had been arrested on suspicion of posing as immigration officers.

“No incidents have been reported in the last few days after we rounded up a number of suspects. If members of the public come across people posing as immigration officers, they should report them immediately,” he said.

The crackdown on illegal immigrants followed the expiry of the ultimatum requiring them to leave voluntarily or be deported.


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Comment by Mama Malaika on September 18, 2013 at 9:15
Oh dear! This will have a huge impact on private education. I know one Nursery School in our area (Dar) employs only foreign teachers

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