Currently, issues related to teaching profession have become a topic of debate. This paper describes teaching as a profession, rationale for teaching and factors affecting teaching profession in Tanzania. This paper goes further to deliberate on how teaching may be transformed into a strong and powerful profession in Tanzania. 1.0 INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Occupational status depends on the public valuing of the competence, role and overall contribution of a particular occupation to individual and societal welfare. Regardless of development status, the teaching force in most countries has never enjoyed full professional status. However, the status of teachers as a developing-profession is more evident in developing countries like Tanzania. If it has to be traced back during colonial era and early years of independence the status of teaching professions was highly respected and valued, as during those times teachers were given fully respect and they were recognized by the societies, never the less, the introduction of Musoma resolution in 1974 and Arusha declaration in 1967 strengthened the status of teaching profession. But soon after the introduction of universal primary education (UPE) in 1977 the status of teaching profession started to decline and seems to be of very low status as most people think of it as the work of those who failed or they have no alternative of life but to be rescued by the teaching profession. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Teaching has been defined by Wells, G. (1982) as cluster of activities that are noted about teachers such as explaining, deducing, questioning, motivating, taking attendance, keeping record of works, students’ progress and students’ background information. Profession refers to enterprises or endeavor founded up on specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply services to others or it is an occupation that requires extensive education or training (Babyegeya and Mushi, 2009) in (Ndibalema, P 2012). 2.0 TEACHING PROFESSION
2.1 teaching as a profession
Teachers are more than workers. They are also members of a profession. Their occupation renders definite and essential services to society. As a profession, however, teaching has had a long and difficult history. Its social and cultural functions have never been critically challenged, but nevertheless the public has not adequately supported teaching, Compared with other learned professions such as medicine, law, engineering, and architecture teaching ranks rather low. Goodson (2003) noted that Occupations that have attained professional status share the following characteristics: a high level of education and training based on a unique and specialized body of knowledge, a strong ideal of public service with an enforced professional code of conduct and high levels of respect from the public at large, registration and regulation by the profession itself, trusted to act in the clients‘ best interests within a framework of accountability, a supportive working environment, similar levels of compensation as other professions. As noted above, a profession requires a lengthy period of academic and practical training. Training and certification are essential parts of a profession. Period long training is needed to develop specialists and technicians in any profession. There must be some specification of the nature of the training through state regulations. Teaching certainly fulfils this criterion, but the teacher‘s period of training is not as long as that required for doctors and lawyers. The code of ethics indicates how members of the profession should behave. Professionalization occurs when enforcement is possible and vigorous (Ankomah, 2005). Tanzanian teachers have an ethical code of conduct. There exist however, no licensed body to enforce the codes.
2.2 Rationale for Teaching Profession
By its very nature, teaching possesses two very appealing traits. First, it deals with the young, with...