Paulina Mbena NKWAMA

Bachelor of Science with Education (BSc - Ed), University of Dar es Salaam: 1997
Master of Arts with Education (MA-ED), University of Dar es Salaam: 2004

Presently the Executive Secretary of the Teachers Service Commission in Tanzania since 29 March 2021, Ms. Paulina Mbena Nkwama is an alumna of the University of Dar es Salaam of the graduating class of 1997.

A Mluguru of Morogoro by ethnic identity, she was born on 31 July, 1969 in Nzega district, Tabora region, where her parents were working and residing then. At the age of nine, in 1978, she was enrolled for primary education at Visiga in Coast Region, where her father was at that time serving as a teacher. On passing the Std 7 school examinations in 1984, she was admitted to Tabora Girls Secondary School in 1985 for the ordinary-level secondary education (forms I-IV), which she completed in 1988. She proceeded with advanced-level secondary education from 1989 to 1991 at Korogwe Girls High School in Tanga region. She is reckoned to have been among a few girls who liked and excelled in science subjects, particularly Chemistry and Biology. It was on the basis of an exemplary record in these school subjects in the Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ACSEE) that, in 1993, she was admitted to the University of Dar es Salaam to pursue a four-year undergraduate programme in Science at the Faculty of Science and Education at the Faculty of Education. She majored in Chemistry and Biology in the Faculty of Science (now renamed College of Natural and Applied Sciences – CoNAS, while training as a graduate teacher at the Faculty of Education, today renamed School of Education. Paulina completed her four-year degree programme in 1997, earning a Bachelor of Science with Education (BSc with Ed) with honours. 

After graduation from the university in 1997, she was employed by the Ministry of Education as a Chemistry and Biology teacher in secondary schools, beginning with Tosamaganga, then Njombe, Tambaza and King’ongo (between November 1998 and September 2009). She was subsequently appointed more senior positions, such as headmistress at Kilakala girls’ secondary school in Morogoro (from September 2009 to February 2011), Assistant Director for Secondary Education (February 2011-Julai 2018) and Assistant Administrative Secretary for Education in the Tanzanian Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government (TAMISEMI) from February 2011 to July 2018. Between July 2018 and March 2021, she served as Assistant Administrative Secretary for Education in Kilimanjaro Region.  As from 29 March 2021, Ms Nkwama was appointed Executive Secretary to the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), a distinguished chief executive position at the top of a Commission that guides and supervises the teaching profession in the country. As such, she is always on call to define various aspects of the teaching profession and to provide views, advice and recommendations on practical matters concerning the operationalisation of the teaching profession in the country.

Ms. Paulina Nkwama has gained wide exposure to ideas, professional practices and socio-cultural training systems for educational reforms as developed and adopted in countries across nations. The exposure has been facilitated through travels to training courses, workshops and educational tours to host centres such as Jerusalem in Israel in connection with educational methodologies for youths at risk and preventing student dropouts and facilitating reintegration into the mainstream (February-March 2010); Nassau in Bahamas in connection with Commonwealth training on Quality Education for Equitable Development: Performance, Paths and Productivity (the 3Ps) (June 2015); Denmark and Sweden in connection with practical training on issues concerning an international security environment (June 2017); and Henan Province, China, in connection with establishing and launching an educational Confucius Institute in Tanzania (June–July 2018).

The University of Dar es Salaam is indeed pleased with Paulina’s success story, and she urges her to remain a kindly torch not only in guiding members of the teaching profession under her charge but also in seeking to modernise and further retool the TSC for the benefit of all generations of teachers in the country.