United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Teacher shortages threaten Universal Primary Education goal

Looming teacher shortages could prevent sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States from achieving the goal of universal primary education (UPE), according to a new UNESCO report on global teacher demand and supply up to 2015. UPE is one of the six Education for All (EFA) goals* as well as one of the Millennium Development Goals agreed at the Millennium Summit in 2000. The report also highlights shortages of specialized teachers in developed countries such as Ireland, Spain and the United States, partly resulting from changing demographic and labour conditions.

Prepared by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (Montreal), the report presents new projections on the demand for teachers while assessing the quality of teaching around the world. It also examines the working conditions and status of teachers by analyzing diverse factors such as entry standards, salary scales, teaching hours and deployment policies.

The research highlights serious problems with teacher training and quality in many parts of the world, and finds that those countries needing the most teachers generally have the least qualified personnel in classrooms.

Entitled “Teachers and Education Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015,” the report will be launched during EFA Week (24 - 30 April). The theme of EFA Week this year is “Every Child Needs a Teacher”.

*The World Education Forum, held in Dakar (Senegal) in 2000, set six education goals to be achieved by 2015, including the provision of quality primary education for all children.

Source Media Advisory No.2006-23
Editorial Contact: Sue Williams, Press Relations Section, tel. +33 (0)1 45 68 17 06
- Email s.williams@unesco.org
Publication Date 19 Apr 2006
© UNESCO 1995-2007 - ID: 32669