Global Teacher Shortage Identified by UN Report: According to a new report released by United Nations (UN) agencies, just fewer than half of countries globally have an acute shortage of teaching staff. Indeed, the report states that in order to provide primary school places for all pupils from across the globe, the world requires another 4 million teachers. The worst gap in primary education according to the research, carried out by Unesco’s Institute for Statistics and published on World Teachers’ Day, is found in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two thirds of countries have a lack of teachers and where the problem is made worse by an ever increasing population.
In addition to a lack of teachers in terms of the sheer number of individuals doing the job, there is also a worry about the quality of teaching staff globally. In a third of countries, one in four teachers were working without training, whilst in Angola, Benin, Senegal, South Sudan and some other nations, less than half of the teaching force had any training.
This has created a situation where, in Chad for instance, there are 101 pupils for every trained teachers – with the figure rising to a ratio of 1 to 138 in the Central African Republic.
However, within these figures there is also cause for some degree of optimism. According to Hendrik ven der Pol, the director of Unesco’s Institute for Statistics, education budgets in sub-Saharan African countries have been growing by around 7% in real terms – meaning that if current spending patterns are maintained, these nations will be able to afford to recruit a sufficient number of teachers to help promote children’s ability to learn in schools.
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