Wanted: 2 million more qualified teachers
Primary teacher gaps are undermining efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal of Education for All by 2015, says a new report issued by the Global Campaign for Education and Education International.
The report, Every Child Needs a Teacher: Closing the Trained Teacher Gap, reveals some shocking statistics about the situation in 114 countries.
- In Mali, only half of all primary school teachers are trained – and only a quarter of these have had training lasting six months or longer.
- Some countries count those who have completed primary school and a one-month training course as trained.
- A third of countries report that no more than half of their pre-primary school teachers are trained - with the worst situations including Chad, which has just one pre-primary teacher for every 1,815 children of this age group.
- Thirty-one countries report that fewer than three quarters of teachers are trained (to any accepted national standard).
- Niger had just 1,059 trained lower secondary school teachers in 2010 – compared to 1.4 million children of lower secondary school age – meaning only one trained teacher for every 1,318 children.
“The crucial role played by teachers in providing quality education is often emphasized,” Education International President Susan Hopgood said. “But, do national government and the international community really live up to such a commitment? All too often, we see that good intentions are overruled by cheap solutions and cost-cutting measures.”
She called on the world community to urgently focus on the recruitment of over 2 million more qualified teachers, and also to invest in improving the competences, knowledge and skills of practicing teachers.