English Teaching Volunteering Projects in Togo
- Placement locations: Lomé
- Types of schools: Primary, Secondary
- Age of students: 3 - 17
- Class sizes: 20 – 80
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English, French, Science, Geography, History, Maths)
- Extra-curricular roles: After-school clubs (language, human rights and drama), sports, homework help and remedial classes for slow learners
- Accommodation: Host families
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 3 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
With little funding for new classrooms and few new teachers being employed, schools in Togo are in crisis. Although the existing teachers work tirelessly, large class sizes and a lack of facilities means that teaching can be a challenge. However, all our volunteers report that the students truly want to learn and the local teachers are extremely supportive. Teaching here is an unforgettable experience.
Both the students and staff speak a mixture of French and the local tribal Volta Region language of Ewe. Speaking some basic French or taking the opportunity to learn or improve your French during your time in Togo is a good idea as most people do not speak English.
Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join this project – no prior experience is required. Gain work experience during your holiday, career break or gap year and help to provide vital educational support for students.
Volunteering as a teacher in Togo
Most of our Teaching volunteers will be placed in public secondary schools in the city of Lomé. Characterised by bare concrete classrooms with no glass in the brick-latticed windows, the schools may be large but they are not well equipped. They look rudimentary from the outside and often lack even the most basic facilities. Your main resource will be a blackboard, a piece of chalk and most importantly yourself.
You will start off as a teaching assistant and once you have found your feet you can often take over the class. However, the local teacher will always be on hand for additional support.
You'll generally be asked to 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.
There is also the option teach other subjects - French, physics, maths, biology, history, geography and chemistry. Volunteers who’d like to teach Italian can do this for a minimum duration of one week – if you are interested in this option, contact us to find out more.
Because of the heat, 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 year 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, songs and games with the children. The clubs help to increase the students’ enthusiasm for languages and even persuade some students to keep up their English studies into further education.
Volunteers can also choose to work at a school for the deaf. This is the only structure that caters for deaf children in Togo. You don't need to know sign language to join: sign language classes are offered in the evenings and weekends.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Togo with Projects Abroad
If you are interested in sports, particularly football, you could also help to coach the school football team.
During the summer holidays from July to mid-September volunteers run a popular summer school programme during which they teach English to the students and incorporate other fun activities like drama or sport.
The Projects Abroad team organise regular workshops that will provide you with an overview of the educational system in Togo and the background of the school where you’re working. You will receive help regarding lesson planning and ideas for games and activities to include at your Teaching placement. You will also have the chance to attend a more general inter-cultural workshop which provides additional information about the Togolese culture and how this relates to your work.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Togo Teaching Management Plan.