4 Million Teachers Are Needed Worldwide By 2015 To Reach Global Educational Goals

October 15, 2014  |  
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Looking for a job? Well, according to a new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the world needs four million (you read right) teachers. This is the number of teachers needed in order to get every child into the classroom by 2015.

There is a severe global teacher shortage in 93 countries. “If these countries were to achieve universal primary education over the next few years, they would need to hire millions more teachers, UNESCO found,” reports The Huffington Post.

According to researchers, however, it is unlikely that the world will achieve universal primary education by next year. In fact, UNESCO says that the world would need more than 12 million additional teachers to get all young children in school by 2020. While 10.2 million of these 12 million would be replacing retiring teachers, 2.4 million would be entirely new jobs.

“The teacher shortage is most extreme in sub-saharan Africa, where over 70 percent of countries currently need more teachers. As it stands, schools in the region suffer from overcrowding and a severe lack of resources or building maintenance,” reports HuffPo.

But the region would have to spend billions more in teacher salaries to increase the number of teachers. It would cost sub-Saharan Africa $5.2 billion more annually than it currently spends to achieve universal primary education by 2020. The region would need a major boost in outside donations.

“Having enough teachers is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to improve education quality: newly hired teachers also need to be motivated, well trained and willing to expand their pedagogical toolkits,” the report notes.

We contacted UNESCO to learn more about how those who are interested in becoming teachers abroad can get involved. A spokesperson for the organization told us via email:

If they are teachers or working in education they can use our Advocacy Toolkit for Teachers in order to help our recommendations on filling the teacher gap with quality teachers reach their governments and achieve policy change.

For those aged 18-30, they should take a look at the Youth Advocacy Toolkit prepared by A World at School and Plan International.

For others, we are keen to hear mothers’ views about how education and education quality has changed since 2000 in their country and how it could be improved so that we can reflect on their opinions as we write our next global Report on education. They should refer to this page where the questionnaire will soon be live.

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