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Home > Education > global teacher shortage Accueil

 global teacher shortage 

New UNESCO data show a chronic lack of trained teachers. Without action, it will be impossible to get all children into school by 2030.

A new paper, jointly released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report on World Teacher's Day shows that more than 27 million teachers will be needed to achieve universal primary education by 2030.


In the rush to fill this gap, many countries are lowering standards, often leaving new teachers with little or no training. Without concerted efforts, these chronic shortages of teachers will continue to deny the fundamental right to primary education for millions of children for decades to come.


 Teacher recruitment needs



(The E9 group includes nine of the world's most populous countries, which represent over 50% of the world’s population and about 51% of total teacher recruitment needed globally by 2030: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan. Launched in 1993, the E9 Initiative focuses on Education for All in this group of countries.)


Massive recruitment required
UIS data show that countries will need to recruit a total of 4 million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015 and ensure there are not more than 40 pupils per teacher. Of these teachers, 1.4 million will be needed to fill new posts and 2.6 million will replace teachers who retire.


The 2015 deadline for achieving universal primary education will not be met based on current projections, as 59 million children are still out of school. If the goalposts shift to the newly proposed deadline of 2030, more than 27 million teachers would need to be hired, 24 million of whom would be to compensate for attrition.


Today, at least 93 countries have an acute shortage of teachers. According to UIS projections, 28 (or 30%) of these countries will still not have enough teachers in classrooms by 2030.


Explore the map to see the global demand for primary school teachers

 Projected total teacher recruitment needed by 2030


Sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest challenge

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for two-thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030 -- 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 teaching positions.



The cost of paying the salaries of the additional teachers required by 2020 totals an extra US$5.2 billion per year. Under pressure to fill gaps, many countries have recruited teachers who lack the necessary training. In one-third of countries with data, less than 75% of primary school teachers were trained according to national standards; and less than 50% in Angola, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and South Sudan.


As a result, the EFA Global Monitoring Report  shows that, in 10 out of 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Liberia, the challenge of training existing teachers is greater than that of recruiting new teachers.


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