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Home > Education > Global Teacher Shortage Accueil

Global Teacher Shortage 


Data show sub-Saharan Africa and Arab States worst hit by teacher shortage 


If current trends continue, the global shortage of teachers at the primary and lower secondary levels of education will persist to 2030 and beyond. New projections, released by the UIS for the first time to mark World Teachers’ Day, indicate that 1.6 million new teaching posts will need to be created to achieve universal primary education by 2015. This number will rise to 3.3 million by 2030. 


At the lower secondary level, which is compulsory in a growing number of countries, 3.5 million new posts will be needed by 2015, and 5.1 million by 2030.

Critical shortage of primary school teachers


While the shortage of primary teachers is a concern in all regions of the world, the situation in sub-Saharan Africa is critical.


One-third of countries in the region are suffering from teacher shortages. The need to recruit more primary teachers will intensify as the region’s school-age population grows. In other words, if current hiring and training practices go unchanged, some countries will face an even greater shortage of teachers by 2030 than they do today.


By then, 2.1 million new teaching positions will have to be created in sub-Saharan Africa while 2.6 million teachers leaving the profession will need to be replaced.


Teacher shortages will also continue in the Arab States, where the school-age population will rise to 9.5 million. Many countries in the region have increased recruitment over the last decade to meet this challenge. To achieve universal primary education, the region needs to create an additional 500,000 posts by 2030 and replace 1.4 million teachers leaving the profession.


Demand for lower secondary education will further strain teaching resources


The demand for lower secondary education continues to grow worldwide. Between 1999 and 2011, the gross enrolment ratio rose by 10 percentage points, reaching 82%.


Secondary education demands a greater number of teachers than the primary level because it requires more subject-specific teachers and longer instruction time.


A total of 3.5 million new lower secondary education teaching posts must be created by 2015, and 5.1 million will be required by 2030.


Sub-Saharan Africa alone represents close to one-half the global lower secondary education shortage (46%). In fact, the region will need an extra 1.6 million teachers by 2015, and 2.5 million by 2030.


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