Global teacher shortage threatens progress on education
Global teacher shortage threatens progress on educationThe UN estimates 8 million extra teachers are needed worldwide by 2015. But how do countries compare?
The world urgently needs to recruit more than 8 million extra teachers, according to UN estimates, warning that a looming shortage of primary school teachers threatens to undermine global efforts to ensure universal access to primary education by 2015.
At least 2m new teaching positions will need to be created by 2015, the UN said in a report published this week. An additional 6.2 million teachers will need to be recruited to maintain current workforces and replace those expected to retire or leave classrooms due to career changes, illnesses, or death.
Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Central African Republic (CAR) top the list of countries that will need to mount aggressive recruitment campaigns over the next four years. Burkina Faso will need to increase its teaching workforce by almost 14% each year until 2015 to plug the country's shortage of teachers, while workforces in Eritrea and CAR will have to grow by 18% and 21% respectively.
"An acute shortage of primary teachers represents one of the biggest hurdles to achieving the goal of universal primary education," said the report, which stressed: "Policies that effectively address teacher training and retention should be at the core of national education policies."
The estimated figures, prepared by Unesco's Montreal-based Institute for Statistics, aim to help countries identify recruitment challenges and adjust their budgets accordingly.
Unesco's projections are based on estimates of the numbers of teachers needed to maintain current pupil-teacher ratios and try to account for "attrition" by estimating that 5% of teachers leave each year.
According to Unesco's projections, the greatest challenges lie in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 1m teaching posts will need to be created by 2015 to meet the needs of a growing number of primary students. Population growth and the push to get all children into school by 2015 has led enrolment rates to soar in many countries, but quality of education will remain a prime concern if countries fail to get enough teachers into classrooms. A total of 350,000 teachers should be hired in sub-Saharan Africa each year until 2015 to fill new posts and compensate for teachers expected to leave the workforce, said the report.
New teaching posts needed by 2015:
12% = 243,000
4% = 80,000
1,1% = 22,000
East Asia + the Pacific
5,1% = 104,000
05% = 10,000
North America + Western Europe
7,7% = 155,000
South + West Asia
14,4% = 292,00
55,5% = 1,115,000