Teaching Jobs in Africa

Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is home to 54 countries and over one billion people, with countless schools and education organisations eager to use your skills to teach students of all age groups. Whether it’s Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria or Ghana that appeals to you, this is a great way to transform your career and stand out. Many schools offer enticing packages that subsidise accommodation, travel and health insurance costs, while also presenting the opportunity to take on new responsibilities your existing role may not offer. Whether it’s contract work or full-time employment, you can explore the beauty of the African continent and enhance your career all in one go.

Popular countries:

Teaching in Africa could be the most diverse opportunity of your life offering unique cultures, an incredible number of countries and better salaries than many teachers expect. Below are some examples of popular countries in Africa to teach.

  Average salary p/m Top salary p/m
South Africa £1,150 £3,400
Nigeria £800 £1,400
Kenya £1,150 £2,150
Morocco £1,750 £2,200
Ethiopia £230 £400

Currently, Morocco offers the highest salary on the continent for teachers, averaging anywhere between £21,000 - £27,000 dependent upon experience and school. Given the size of the continent, teacher salaries in Africa can vary from very low (Ethiopia being a good example) to average rates found in the West (Morocco offers comparable wages). This is reflective of the cost of living in each respective country, as well as the location and reputation of the school. Those located in cities and large towns will come with a higher cost of living, while the further you go out into rural areas, the lower the salary generally becomes.

Teaching requirements

The type of school and the role you are applying for will dictate the level of qualifications required. Top tier private schools are likely to request bachelor degrees in your chosen subject (for high school teaching), along with at least a couple of years’ experience in the classroom. Some will have a more formal process, such as teaching in South Africa, which requires you to register with the South Africa Centre for Education (SACE). Qualifications are then reviewed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Anyone applying for English language roles will need to have a TEFL certificate to prove they are of the requisite level required. There is also no shortage of volunteer roles on the African continent, which generally ask for a lower level of qualifications, although this can vary depending on the age group you are teaching and the subject matter.

Legal requirements

It can take some time to secure a work visa in a number of African countries with many teachers relying on short-term travel/temporary visas instead. The school will be able to sponsor you in many cases and assist with submitting your application and dealing with any ongoing paperwork. Some countries have more particular rules than others, an example being teaching in Morocco. In order to teach in the country you will need to have a bank account that enables you to transfer money outside of Morocco. This is a legal requirement and should be something the school you apply to inform you of during the process.

Teaching in Africa

Classroom culture will be different in every country and you should also take into account that Islam is practiced in a number of countries, in particular, the Northern and Western regions of the continent. Wherever you apply for a role, it is always helpful to do some research on the culture and expectations of life both inside and outside of the classroom. Each country has its own standards and classroom culture you will need to adapt to. For example, Morocco follows the French grading system at university level, while punctuality may not be as strict in public schools compared to private institutions. Elsewhere, South African teaching culture has a reputation for being quite strict, with a clear dividing line between teacher and pupil initiated by many schools.

Living and lifestyle

Should you decide to pursue teaching roles in Africa it opens up the chance to travel around the continent and enjoy the many diverse and exciting cultures on offer. This is particularly true for volunteer and short-term roles, although even if you are in Africa for a number of years you can venture into neighbouring countries during half-term and summer holiday periods. Travelling to some countries will require you to take vaccinations, such as Nigeria, where shots for polio, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, meningitis and rabies are advised.