In Tanzania, schools and kindergartens based on the pedagogic principles of Maria Montessori are increasingly being established. A nun, originally from Germany, set this in motion and has since then been trying to implement Montessori education. For many children, it’s a privilege to be able to attend such an institution, as parents have to pay monthly fees for it. Often parents can only choose one of their children, because the costs for several children would be too high.
Despite many difficulties, the Montessori schools and kindergartens try to meet the needs of the children individually and prepare them for a better future through education and self-motivation. The children who have experienced such an education can carry these values further into Tanzanian society.
In Mtwara, there is a training centre for educators and teachers. There, African women have the chance to learn a qualified profession. The typical Montessori material is made there by the future teachers themselves from shells, beads, wood and paper. Despite this positive development, many teachers are not yet properly trained or even sufficiently familiar with the basic Montessori principle, which, in addition to working with materials, also involves the attitude of the teacher as a role model in mutual respect with the students. Especially in schools, education through violence and pressure is often still deeply rooted in the consciousness of the educators. It will certainly take some time before basic attitudes can change. However, a start has been made and through these schools a reform of the educational system in Tanzania has been initiated.
Photographed in the kindergarten of Mtwara and in the primary school of Daressalam, 2016.