At a glance
Volunteer as a teacher in South Africa and help to improve the literacy levels of students. You’ll work at a primary school in a disadvantaged area and support local teachers. This is a great way to get practical classroom experience while helping where it’s needed most.
Children at lower income schools generally have a lower level of literacy than students at private schools. Overcrowded classrooms also make it more difficult to give struggling students extra attention that they need. Your role is to work with these young students to help them improve their reading skills. This will improve the foundation for their future learning.
You’ll live and work in Cape Town, and stay with a local host family. During your leisure time you’ll be able to enjoy the incredible sights that the city has to offer.
Completely flexible datesSee Dates
Anyone aged 16 or over can join
Is volunteer teaching in South Africa right for me?
Are you looking to gain practical teaching experience in a different culture? Then this is the ideal project for you. This project will give your CV an extra edge, and teach you skills like planning and management.
Our volunteer Teaching Project in South Africa is open to everyone, and you don’t need previous experience. You’ll receive a thorough induction upon arrival, which will take you through everything you need to know about your new volunteer placement.
There is also a dedicated Projects Abroad supervisor who will ensure you get the most out of your time abroad. We run regular workshops for our Teaching and Care volunteers, so that you can share ideas, plan lesson activities, and ask for advice.
In order to join this project, you need to stay for a minimum of four weeks. The project is available throughout most of the year, except for school holidays. If you want to volunteer during school holidays, please speak to us directly. Our start and end dates are entirely flexible, so you can choose a time that suits you.
You do not need to bring teaching supplies with you, as the classrooms are equipped with the basics such as chalk and a blackboard. However, feel free to bring additional materials along if you feel that they will be helpful.
What will I do on this project?
On our volunteer teaching placement in South Africa, there are opportunities to get involved in a range of different tasks. Some of these include:
- Work with small groups of students to improve their literacy level
- Assist teachers with a range of different classroom tasks
- Teach additional subjects such as sports and IT
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Work with small groups of students to improve their literacy level
The main focus of this project is to work with young children who are struggling with reading in English. You will work with small groups of students and provide them with individual support. We encourage you to make the lessons fun and interactive. This in turn helps to keep the students focused and motivated. While the school has fairly basic resources, the literacy programme we run is well stocked with different materials that you can use.
Assist teachers with a range of different classroom tasks
There is also the opportunity to act as an assistant teacher where needed. Here, you will work alongside local teachers in the classroom, and provide extra support. You might also be needed to help mark papers, or invigilate tests. This is a great way to gain even more teaching work experience while in South Africa.
Teach additional subjects such as sports and IT
If you would like to add some variety to your placement, you can combine this with Teaching IT or sports.There is a great need for someone to take these subjects, and it’s a great way to share your skills if you have the experience.
Where in South Africa will I work?
You will be based in beautiful Cape Town, the second biggest city in South Africa and a popular tourist destination. Your placement is a primary school in a disadvantaged area of the city.
With a range of public and private transport options, it’s fairly easy to make your way around the city. Cape Town is famous for its scenic views, diverse cuisine, and cultural heritage. Go for a stroll on the beach, check out the local markets, and try out some of the amazing restaurants. You should definitely make time for a visit to one of the nearby wildlife reserves over a weekend.
A typical day on the Teaching project
After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the home of your host family, you will be transported to your placement by a Projects Abroad driver.
A typical day on this project runs from 9am - 2.30pm, Monday to Friday. You will have the rest of your time free to relax, explore and travel.
Your day starts at 9am. You’ll spend your time working with small groups of children ranging in age from 7 - 9 (Grades 1 - 3) who have been identified by their teachers as in need of extra support.
We encourage you to use your creativity to make these sessions fun and interactive. You’ll need to monitor the children’s progress so that this data can be used for their term marks and reports.
There is a weekly workshop for Teaching and Care volunteers which is held at our local office. This is a great opportunity to share any achievements, develop ideas for activities, and learn more about the school system in South Africa.
Once you’re done for the day, you have the chance to take advantage of all that Cape Town has to offer. This city really has something for everyone, whether you’re simply going sightseeing or enjoying a “braai” (barbeque) with your local host family.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to improve the literacy levels of young children in South Africa.
While South Africa has a high literacy rate, many young children struggle with reading English. The situation is made more challenging with the fact that many schools use English as the medium of instruction. This is a problem because a lot of children do not speak English as their home language
Classes in schools that are situated in disadvantaged areas are also often overcrowded, with up to 60 - 70 students per class. This means it is impossible for teachers to provide students with the individual attention that they need. Inequality between public and private schools is a growing problem in the South African education system.
The early years of education are essential to rectify this problem. You will work with small groups of children aged 7 - 9 who have been identified as in need of assistance. This enables you to give them vital individual attention to help them improve. Literacy is an essential life skill, and forms the foundation for all their future learning.
We have identified several goals for our Teaching Project in South Africa, which inform the work that you do. These include:
- Increasing literacy
- Encouraging learning through creativity
- Improving teaching techniques
- Increasing IT and sports teaching
Join us in South Africa and support the educational development of disadvantaged children.
Volunteering for Professionals
This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.
This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.
If you have relevant skills or qualifications, read more about how you can make use of them with Projects Abroad.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Meet the team in South Africa
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