Volunteer Teaching in Togo
- Placement locations: Lomé
- Types of schools: Secondary schools, private schools, and school for the deaf
- Age of students: 3 - 17
- Class sizes: 20 – 80
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English, French, Italian, science, geography, history, math)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: After-school clubs (language, human rights, and drama), sports, homework help, and remedial classes for slow learners
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 3 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
With little to no funding for improving teaching facilities and few new teachers being employed, schools in Togo are in desperate need of extra support. Although local teachers are dedicated to their students, large class sizes and a lack of facilities means that teaching can be a challenge. The assistance of Projects Abroad volunteer teachers is critical and you can use your time and skills to make a significant impact in Togolese schools.
With Projects Abroad, you can volunteer on the Teaching Project as part of a gap year, career break, a vacation, or retirement. No previous experience is needed either. All we ask is that you are committed to your students and take the time to plan your classes and encourage learning!
Both the students and staff speak a mixture of French and the local tribal language of Ewe. We recommend taking the time to learn the basics or improve your French on a French Language Course during your time in Togo, as most people do not speak English
Volunteering as a teacher in Togo is a great way to get practical experience in a classroom setting, and no TEFL, TESOL, or other formal teaching qualification is required.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Togo
All of our Teaching Projects in Togo are based in the capital city, Lomé. Here, we work with elementary schools, high schools, and a school for the deaf.
The school for the deaf is the only one of its kind in Togo and they use American sign language. More than a 100 students from the ages of 4 to 17 attend. While it is useful to know sign language to teach here, it is not required, and you can attend sign language classes in the evenings and over weekends. We encourage you to do more than just teaching at this placement: you can hold dance classes and play soccer and games. If you would like to work here, please let us know when you apply.
Most of our volunteers teach in secondary schools and work with students between the ages of 9 and 17. You can expect school facilities to be very basic – you will only have a blackboard and a piece of chalk to work with. However, the Projects Abroad Togo office has a lot of supplies that you can use to create your own materials, such as flashcards.
Did you know? The average classroom in Lomé, Togo has between 60-100 students, partially due to the fact that many families from rural areas send their children to stay with family members in Lomé—this way children can benefit from the instruction at city schools that have more resources.
You will start off in the classroom as a teaching assistant, and once you are confident enough, you can take the lead. Your Projects Abroad supervisor, as well as a local teacher, will always be available to help you and give you advice with your lessons and classroom management.
Your main role will be to teach English and you will generally be asked take the timetabled English classes for a range of ages within the school. You will have a curriculum to follow and the local staff will help you with planning your classes. Your encouragement, praise, and some fun lessons are often all that are needed to spark an interest in the language and a desire to try harder.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Togo Teaching Management Plan.
Volunteer Teaching Other Subjects at Schools in Togo
It is very hot in Togo, so school finishes for most students at midday. In many schools, volunteers have set up popular English clubs which run for an hour once a week for each age group after the main school day has ended. The clubs give you a chance to move away from the main school curriculum and enjoy debates, drama, or songs and games with the children. The clubs can go a long way to increasing students’ enthusiasm for languages and even persuade some students to keep up their English studies into further education.
You also have the opportunity to teach other subjects alongside English. These include French, science, geography, history, and math. You can also get involved in extra-curricular activities such as human rights clubs or teaching German. We also have a placement where volunteers can teach Italian full-time.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Togo with Projects Abroad
During the summer vacation period from July to mid-September volunteers run a popular summer school program. Volunteers teach English to the students and incorporate other fun activities like drama or sports.
Our staff in Togo organizes regular workshops for volunteer teachers. These workshops provide an overview of the educational system in Togo and the background of the school where you are working. You will receive help regarding lesson planning and ideas for games and activities to include at your school. Volunteers in Togo also have the chance to attend a more general inter-cultural workshop that provides more information about Togolese culture and how this relates to your work.
The impact you have on the lives of your students will be obvious and long lasting. You will also be part of a much wider volunteer network, which is making a positive contribution to the communities in which we work.
You can join the Teaching Project in Togo for three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
I have loved teaching in Togo because I have learned at least as much as I have taught. I have loved the challenge of engaging the students there because each and every one of the kids has potential, creativity, and promise. Read more...