02.10.2014 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Sub-Saharan Africa need new and qualified teachers

The shortage of qualified teachers in Africa is exacerbated by a steadily growing school-age population ©Thierry Bonnet

Today more than 7 in 10 African countries don't have enough teachers. The region faces the greatest teacher shortage, accounting for two-thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030. The problem is exacerbated by a steadily growing school-age population.

In the rush to fill the chronic shortage of teachers many countries are sacrificing standards  and undermining progress by hiring people with little or no training, concludes a new UNESCO policy paper, published on World Teachers Day 2014.

Prepared by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR), the policy paper shows that at least 93 countries have an acute teacher shortage, and need to recruit some four million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015. 

Global learning crisis

"The stakes are high: we face today a global learning crisis", states a joint message by UNESCO, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and Education International. The message is published for World Teachers’ Day celebrated on 5 October 2014. The event is a worldwide celebration of and tribute to the teaching profession.

Click here to read the events planned to mark the day across the world. The theme of this year's celebration is: Invest in the future, invest in teachers!

Essentials for supporting teachers

To make sure teachers succeed, The Global Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda proposes the following four essentials for supporting teachers’ effectiveness:

  1. Decent conditions of employment, including appropriate contracts and salaries, and prospects for career progression and promotion
  2. Good conditions in the work environment
  3. High-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers
  4. Effective management, including teacher recruitment and deployment

Teachers are an investment for the future of countries. What today’s children will face in adult life cannot be predicted and so the teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy.

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