01.10.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Urgent need for one million teachers in Africa

Teachers should be proud of their profession @UNESCO/Always

The demand for teacher in Africa is rising rapidly as the school-age population continues to grow, more children enroll in schools and fewer leave school early.

"Teachers are the central solution to the learning crisis, and yet too many are poorly trained and poorly supported," according to a joint message by UNESCO, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and Education International.

The message is published for World Teachers’ Day on 5 October, which is celebrated worldwide to pay tribute to the conditions and key role of teachers in education. Click here to read the events planned to mark the day across the world

The quality of education is at stake

Sub-Saharan Africa will need to recruit more than 1.1 million additional primary school teachers between 2009 and 2015 to ensure that every child has access to and can complete a full course of primary education.

24 African countries are facing severe shortages of teachers, according to a publication by UNESCO Institute for Statistics. In addition, there is a urgent need for providing training opportunities for millions of teachers who have received a brief and incomplete training of teachers. It is the quality of education that is at stake.

At the global level, some 5.24 million teachers need to be recruited in order to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015 -- 1.58 million new recruits and 3.66 million to replace those leaving the profession.

The future of our children

UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar is taking a comprehensive approach when dealing with the teacher shortage in Africa.

It is not only about teacher training, one needs to consider all dimensions related to the teaching profession (status, welfare, wages, professional development, etc.).

For example, the Office is responsible for implementing two capacity-building projects on teachers in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal.

The main purpose is to develop and enhance institutional capacities concerning teachers training and professional development.

“Teachers should be proud of their profession and they must have the necessary resources, favorable working conditions, because do not forget, they hold in their hands an important key to the future of our children,” says Jean Adotevi, chief of education at UNESCO Dakar.

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