Teaching English in Uganda

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How to Begin Teaching in Uganda

Known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, Uganda is a landlocked country in Eastern Africa. It gained independence from Britain in 1962 and subsequently endured a turbulent few decades and became known for its high HIV rates. These days Uganda is relatively stable and safe to visit, though it has come under severe criticism for its laws against homosexuality.

Besides its politics, Uganda is famous for its gorillas, being one of the few countries where you can encounter gorillas in their natural habitat – the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are home to over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Once you have spent enough time in the jungle you can head over the one of Uganda’s many lakes where you can enjoy boat safaris, fishing and birdwatching. And let’s not forget that Uganda is home to a number of national parks where you can enjoy a safari without the crowds which visit neighbouring countries.

The south of the country is heavily influenced by Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa. It’s located mostly in Uganda and Tanzania. There are approximately 84 clusters of islands known as the Ssese islands that are scattered along the shores of Lake Victoria. One of the most notable is Ngamba island, which has a diverse wildlife and Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The sanctuary was founded in 1998 and is home to 49 orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued. Uganda’s main cities including the capital of Kampala are situated near this large body of water. Kampala is said to be one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. It was ranked best city to live in East Africa by the Mercer Quality of Living survey in 2016.

The primary form of transportation for Ugandans are bicycles. Beat the traffic in central Kampala by hopping on a boda-boda—the local motorbike-taxi. A network of trained boda drivers who can provide you with a helmet can be found using the Safe Boda app. Street food varies from a rolex, which is a chapati rolled around an egg omelette with tomato, onion, and cabbage. Or you can try Uganda’s popular delicacy Nsenene— pan fried grasshoppers.

 

Teaching Opportunities

English and Swahili are the two official languages of Uganda. Primary education is free but the quality of education has been affected by high student: teacher ratios. This has resulted in a need for teachers but you need a Bachelor’s in Education in order to teach in a government or international school. There are, however, many different volunteer programmes to get involved with which don’t require you to have any degree qualification. It’s also possible to be a private tutor. The majority of jobs can be found in the urban cities of Kampala and Kira.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    BEd required, unless a volunteer position
  • Typical Contract Length
    Variable
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    Year-round
  • Visa Info
    Work permit
  • Typical Students
    Students, children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    2,700,000-3,600,000 UGX
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    Volunteer

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