05.10.2015 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Sub-Saharan Africa needs 6.2 million new primary teachers by 2030

Trainer engaging participants in teacher training in Buba, Guinea-Bissau © UNESCO/M.E. Sagna

Sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest challenge in terms of teacher shortage. The region accounts for two-thirds of the new primary teachers needed globally by 2030, namely 6.2 million.

This shortage is exacerbated by a steadily growing school-age population: for every 100 primary school-aged children in 2012 in the region, there will be 147 children in 2030.

As a result, countries in the region not only have to fill almost 4 million vacant posts by 2030, but also create 2.3 million new primary teaching positions.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics has released new data on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, celebrated worldwide on 5 October.

The first opportunity

World Teachers’ Day highlights the importance of empowering teachers to achieve inclusive and sustainable global development.

This year, the Day comes just after the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations’ General Assembly and represents the first opportunity to set out a roadmap for teachers in the new Education 2030 agenda.

“On the first World Teachers' Day of a new education agenda of global development, we appeal to the international community to value, support, and empower teachers of the world. For it is they who will educate a new generation of children who, in turn, will carry forward all our goals to build a better world for all,” states a joint message signed by UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF, UNDP and Education International.

Recruitment needs in Sahel countries

In the countries covered by the UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar, the demand for primary teachers is as follows:

  • Burkina Faso: 123. 200
  • Cabo Verde: 1.900
  • The Gambia: 16.100
  • Guinea-Bissau: 11.000
  • Mali: 137.800
  • Niger: 185.200
  • Senegal: 114.700

UNESCO Dakar is supporting the countries to cope with this acute challenge, in particular through several major capacity-building programmes:

The new data is featured in the UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers, which features a wide range of UIS projections and indicators about teachers, based on results of the Institute’s annual survey involving more than 200 countries and territories and partnerships with organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat.

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