UNESCO warns of shortage of 69 million teachers worldwide

UNESCO warns of shortage of 69 million teachers worldwide
UNESCO warns of shortage of 69 million teachers worldwide

Africa-Press – Angola. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today warned of a global crisis of teacher shortages and underlined that 69 million teachers worldwide are needed to provide universal basic education by 2030.

In a communiqué issued to mark World Teachers’ Day, celebrated on Wednesday 5 October, UNESCO called on governments to intensify their support for the education sector, taking into account the “difficulties” in “keeping their staff and attract new talent”.

The biggest shortage of teachers, according to the UN agency, is in sub-Saharan Africa, which has “some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the world”, the “most overworked teachers” and education systems “understaffed”. .

“The lack of training, unattractive working conditions and inadequate funding are factors that undermine the profession and exacerbate the global learning crisis,” said the organization’s director general, Audrey Azoulay, in the same note published by Lusa.

UNESCO’s projections indicate that reaching the 2030 Agenda’s goal of universal basic education requires an additional 24.4 million teachers for primary education and a further 44.4 million for the next level.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the needs for primary education are 5.4 million teachers and for secondary education, with 90% of its schools facing a severe shortage of teachers, 11.1 million.

The region with the second largest deficit is South Asia, where an additional 1.7 million primary school teachers and an additional 5.3 million additional secondary school teachers will be needed to meet the target.

Among the aspects that require improvement, UNESCO highlighted the improvement of conditions for teachers, especially with regard to workload.

In low-income countries, each primary school teacher has an average of 52 students per class, while the world average is 26.

UNESCO also called for better training of teachers and alluded to the necessary care for the environment where they live in the most disadvantaged and remote areas, especially in the case of female teachers.

The crisis in the profession is also accentuated by uncompetitive wages.

UNESCO data indicate that six out of 10 countries pay primary school teachers less than other professionals with similar qualifications and that the gap is wider in more developed nations.

“Only three high-income countries have a commendable teacher pay policy: Singapore, with an average salary equal to 139% of comparable professions, Spain (125%) and South Korea (124%),” added the UN agency.

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