World Teachers' Day highlights need for 2M more educators
Ahead of the World Teachers’ Day, celebrated worldwide 5 October and dedicated this year to the theme, “teachers for gender equality”, UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics has published data indicating that at least two additional million teachers will be needed to meet the internationally-agreed goal of universal primary education by 2015.
In a statement Tuesday from its headquarters in Paris, France, UNESCO said, however, that the shortages did not only concern developing countries.
"Although Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for more than half the demand, the US, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Sweden are among the 112 countries suffering from the same problem," the institute said.
It said that insufficient staffing to ensure universal primary education by 2015 affects the different regions as follows -- Sub-Saharan Africa (1,115,000 teachers required), Arab States (243,000 teachers), South and West Asia (292,000), North America and Western Europe (155,000).
Central and Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean on the other hand together account for only 11% of the global shortage of teachers required to meet the 2015 target, according to the institute.
These figures, however, do not take into account the number of teachers leaving the profession for a variety of reasons such as retirement, illness or career change, it said, adding: "To meet the total shortage, 6.1 million teachers will be needed between 2009 and 2015."
The World Teachers’ Day 2011, which celebrates a profession in which women outnumber men in primary schools, accounting for 62% of teachers worldwide.
In some countries, they account for 90% of primary school teachers but their working conditions, pay, and status are deteriorating.
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