The report highlights the teaching gap in the developing world and points to the severe lack of well-trained, well-supported teachers as a fundamental reason for the low-quality education many of the world’s poorest children receive.
It’s well known that teachers are a crucial piece in the education puzzle. Quality teachers are a deciding factor in whether children will learn effectively. There’s a direct link between having enough teachers and children doing well at school. The OECD Programme of International Student Assessment clearly states that “in the highest-performing education systems…[t]here are no concessions on teacher quality”.
There has been enormous progress in the number of children in school since 2000 but progress has stalled. There remain 61 million children of primary school age not in school. Not only that, but learning outcomes and the quality of teaching for many children around the world hasn’t significantly improved much either. Going to school can only help people escape poverty if children are offered a quality education. The World Education Forum in 2000 suggested that a quality education “includes learning to know, to do, to live together and to be”.
Globally the figures make stark reading for anyone interested in ensuring that everyone has access to a quality education. Figures from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics state that at primary level 1.7 million additional teachers are needed to deliver universal primary education by 2015. In total, 114 countries have primary teacher gaps, and the gap in Africa is nearly 1 million teachers. That’s one million more teachers needed across Africa if we’re to reach the Millennium Development Goal target of universal basic education by the 2015 deadline. The picture isn’t brighter in secondary schools: seven African countries have just one lower secondary school teacher to more than 100 children. Continue reading