On World Teacher’s Day yesterday, the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued the statistics revealing that close to 69 million new teachers are needed to provide quality universal primary and secondary education by 2030, the deadline of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Entire education systems are gearing up for the big push to achieve [SDG 4] by 2030,” said Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the primary global source for statistics on education, in a news release yesterday.
“But education systems are only as good as their teachers. Global progress will depend on whether there even is a teacher, or a classroom in which to teach with a manageable number of children instead of 60, 70 or even more pupils,” she added, noting the need to provide training, resources and support for teachers to do their job.
Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education also includes a specific call for more qualified teachers, and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.
According to the UIS data, sub-Saharan Africa has the largest teacher gap and the region will need about 17 million primary and secondary teachers by 2030.
As the region with the fastest growing school-age population in the world, it is already struggling to keep up with demand: more than 70 per cent of its countries face acute shortages of primary school teachers, 90 per cent of them face serious shortages in secondary education, UNESCO added.
UN News Centre