There is no quality education without qualified teachers. Yet, the acute shortage of qualified teachers has been identified as one of the biggest challenges to achieving Education for All.
It is estimated that sub-Saharan Africa currently need one million new teachers. In addition, there is a urgent need for providing training opportunities for millions of teachers who have little education themselves.
Teachers are key!
The acute shortage of qualified teachers has been identified as one of the biggest challenges of achieving Education for All. Africa needs qualified teachers as ever before due to the growth in the number of school-age children on the continent. UNESCO Dakar is leading capacity-building projects for teachers in Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Senegal, which improve countries’ institutional and organizational capacities to design and implement training programmes for teacher trainers and supervisors, develop and review of teacher-related policies, and contribute to knowledge production and sharing on teaching.
In Mali, the programme supports the development of a teacher training and professional development strategy to feed in the next 10-year Education Sector Plan preparation process. In Burkina Faso and Niger, where governments have adopted curriculum reform for extended basic education, the programmes are supporting the roll-out process focusing on teachers’ training and management systems. In Senegal, the programme focuses on literacy and non-formal education, and aims to establish a national teachers’ training system for basic education that would also provide training for literacy and non-formal education personnel. In Guinea-Bissau, UNESCO’s teacher training project supports the harmonization of teacher training modules for government’s education emergency plan to train some 4,000 teachers and principals.
Another important focus is the development of national and regional qualification frameworks for teachers in West African states. This initiative aims to facilitate the definition of professional standards and clear academic and professional pathways as key elements for the recognition of teaching as a full-fledged profession and teachers’ mobility across countries.