The World’s Chronic Teacher Shortage

Whenever I write a post for Edudemic, I have to mark it as being in a category. For this post, I instinctively clicked ‘trends’. Once I did that, it got me thinking. I wondered if readers would might think trends meant they’d be reading about trendy technology toys, or if instead they might think we would be talking about a style of teaching, type of tool, or device that is currently popular.

Today, we’re using the term trend in the most traditional sense. The dictionary defines trend as ‘the general direction in which things tend to move’, and the chronic teacher shortage is an unfortunate global example of a trend. UNESCO devotes a large chunk of their efforts to bringing education to all children around the world, and addressing the chronic teacher shortage globally is a large part of this. While school enrollments are increasing rapidly – which is exactly the goal – there aren’t enough teachers to provide all of these students with an education. UNESCO’s studies predict that at the current rates, serious teacher shortages will happen by 2030. They’ve created the handy infographic below to showcase some of the interesting statistics surrounding this issue. Keep reading to learn more.

The World’s Chronic Teacher Shortage

  • Both population growth and demand for primary education are leading to high enrollment rates in primary schools.
  • By 2015, 1.6M NEW teaching positions will be needed to accommodate the growing number of students. By 2030, 3.3M new positions will be needed.
  • In the lower secondary school range, enrollments are growing because many countries are beginning to make this level of education compulsory.
  • By 2015, 3.5M NEW teaching positions will be needed to accommodate the growing number of students. By 2030, 5.1M new positions will be needed.
  • Africa, South and West Asia, and the Arab States have the highest need for teachers.
  • In addition to creating the vast number of new teaching posts, high attrition rates for teachers mean even more new teachers will be needed. This need is especially high in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, population growth is driving a huge need for education. For every 100 primary aged children there today, there will be 143 in 2030.
  • The numbers of pupils enrolling in school have skyrocketed – Since 1999 there has been a 66% increase in primary enrollment and a 123% increase in secondary.
  • For every 10 primary teachers hired in Eritrea, 7 leave the profession due to lack of training and resources.
  • In Chad, there are about 63 pupils per primary teacher and 44 per lower secondary teacher.