Yes. HOPAC was founded in 1994 as a school for children of missionaries but has evolved into a Christian international school whose student population is divided between:
- Children of missionaries and full-time Christian service workers.
- Children of expats working in the non-profit and for-profit sector.
- Children of Tanzanians working in the for-profit and public sectors.
There are over 390 students from over 30 countries at HOPAC. While the majority of the students are Christian, students of Hindu and Muslim faith are also represented in the student body.
Currently, we have teachers from the U.S., the U.K., India, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania.
The Ministry of Education in Tanzania requires that expatriate teachers applying for a teaching license for the first time:
- have a Bachelor degree in education or in the subject to be taught and teaching certification,
- have 3 years of teaching experience (however they do not specify if this experience has to be post-degree)
In addition to the above governmental requirements, HOPAC requires that its teachers are committed Christians in agreement with HOPAC’s faith statement and are fluent in English, which is the language of instruction at HOPAC.
HOPAC is a school in the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS), and is accredited by Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and by Middle States Association. It is also a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA). HOPAC is a licensed Cambridge International Examinations Centre and registered member of the Cambridge Primary Programme.
If you are coming as a NICS missionary… NICS Missionaries receive a monthly living allowance which is sufficient to cover housing and some additional expenses. Some support raising is required. Allowance amounts from HOPAC are as follows: Single Teacher $900 per month Married couple with no children, only 1 teaches $900 per month Family with children, only one teaches $900 +$100 per child per month Family with children and both teach $1000 +$100 per child per month NICS missionaries receive international insurance through UnitedHealthcare and 100% tuition discount for dependent children. To give you a rough idea of costs, here is what a single NICS missionary teacher will/may need money for: *Setup Costs: Money to initially set up a household upon arrival. How much depends on what type of housing you are in and whether it is furnished or not, what you bring with you and whether or not you are sharing. *Monthly Costs: Rent, food, utilities, salaries for guards/workers, local transport, etc *Travel/Extras: Money for extracurricular activities and travel during breaks
If you are coming with another mission agency… HOPAC provides teachers with a monthly living allowance which is sufficient to cover housing and some additional expenses. . So some support raising is required. If you are being sent through another mission organization, they will have their own rules and guidelines for how much support you will need to raise and you need to discuss this with them. Allowance amounts from HOPAC are as follows: Single Teacher $900 per month Married couple with no children, only 1 teaches $900 per month Family with children, only one teaches $900 +$100 per child per month Family with children and both teach $1000 +$100 per child per month In addition to this monthly living allowance, HOPAC provides children of teachers with tuition discounts, prorated on the amount of time the parent serves at HOPAC. For full-time expatriate staff, a 100% discount is given for three children and 60% discount for additional children. To give you a rough idea of costs, here is what a single volunteer teacher will/may need money for: *Setup Costs: Money to initially set up a household upon arrival. How much depends on what type of housing you are in and whether it is furnished or not, what you bring with you and whether or not you are sharing. *Monthly Costs: Rent, food, utilities, salaries for guards/workers, local transport, etc *Mission Overhead Fees: For those coming from a sending mission, a certain amount of support raised goes towards mission overhead costs *Insurance: Insurance might be an extra cost if not provided by the sending mission or church. *Travel/Extras: Money for extracurricular activities and travel during breaks
If you are a Tanzanian teacher… HOPAC offers a competitive salary and benefits package. This will be discussed during your application procedure.
If you are an expatriate teacher, but not coming through a mission agency… Expat teachers (not supported through a mission) still come to HOPAC as volunteers, legally. This means that HOPAC will support you through a monthly allowance, similar to that of staff coming through a mission agency. But we will work with you on other benefits to ensure that basic needs are met.
From a cultural/geographical standpoint:
- Because the average daily temperature in Dar is 30 degrees C/86 degrees F with high humidity, cotton tends to be the most comfortable as it ‘breathes’ better than polyester.
- The Tanzanian culture is fairly conservative with regards to dress for women so that means no skirts above the knee, shorts are best left for athletics or lounging around at home and no clothing that reveals your tummy area.
- In some parts of town there is a strong Muslim influence/population and there bare shoulders are best avoided.
There are 2 rainy seasons: the short rains in October and the long rains in March/April. You will want to either bring an umbrella or plan on getting one once here. From a professional standpoint, acceptable attire at school consists of:
- For women, skirts and dresses to the knee or longer, loose trousers (but not jeans), covered shoulders (no spaghetti straps or tank tops), no revealing tops
- For men, shorts and jeans are not acceptable at school, and collared shirts are expected - Sandals are very welcome
- There is no smoking on campus. Furthermore, because smoking is seriously frowned upon in the Tanzanian culture, HOPAC strongly discourages its teachers from smoking elsewhere.
- Alcohol: several sending missions have policies on alcohol and HOPAC defers to those policies. In absence of a mission policy, HOPAC discourages anything but moderate, discreet use.
- Male/female relations: Public displays of affection are inappropriate in Tanzanian culture (although you can often see members of the same sex walking hand in hand), as is a single woman entertaining a single man alone in her home.
Letters and parcels:
Teachers can send and receive mail via the HOPAC post office box. To send letters from here pass them onto a member of our operations team.
You will be set up with a HOPAC email address. You will be given a work laptop/computer and will have access to the internet while at school. Many teachers use their phones as hot spots to access the internet while at home.
Most teachers get a SIM as soon as they arrive using a local phone bought here or an unlocked international phone. You can register and buy sim cards easily and prepaid airtime can be purchased at shops all over Dar or via mobile money or apps connected to a US bank. Many of our staff use WhatsApp or FaceTime to stay in touch with their home countries.
You have several options available for local transport:
- Your own two feet – although everything is not within walking distance
- Public transport via ‘dala dala’s’ (local buses) – this is an inexpensive mode of transport for getting around town during the daytime although some drivers are not always cautious in their style of driving. Traveling on the local-type dala dalas at night or for long distances is not as safe. Larger, nicer buses are available for long distance travel within Tanzania and to neighboring countries.
- Uber/ride apps – this is a common and safe means of transport, although after dark is is best to travel with known drivers.
- Bajaj/pikipiki – many teachers regularly use bajajs (three-wheeled small vehicles) or pikipikis (motorcycles) to travel short distances. There are some well-known bajaj drivers commonly used by teachers. Motorcycles are not the safest means of travel.
- Purchase a vehicle – if you are here long term, you might want to consider buying your own vehicle. Be prepared to pay higher prices than you might at home because of import duties that are added into the sales cost. There is a quite a gap in price between fairly new second-hand vehicles (US$10,000-15,000) and older second-hand vehicles (US$6000-10,000) which, while cheaper, may have maintenance issues. NOTE: If you do plan to drive while in Tanzania, you should get an international drivers’ license in your home country and bring that with you. Alternatively, it is not difficult to get a Tanzanian driving license.