As the world celebrated Teachers Day yesterday October 5, 2015, a new UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) paper emailed to ghanabusinessnews.com says for Ghana to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) to provide every child with 12 years of quality education by 2030, the country needs additional 188,700 teachers.
According to the World Bank as at 2014 Ghana has 136,878 primary school teachers.
The paper citing UIS data says 33 countries still won’t have enough teachers to provide every child with a primary education by 2030 if current trends continue.
The paper finds that the world will need to recruit 25.8 million school teachers to provide every child with a primary education by 2030.
“This total includes the creation of 3.2 million new posts and the replacement of 22.6 million teachers expected to leave the profession,” the paper said.
It notes that today, an extra 2.7 million teachers are needed to reach the 59 million children excluded from education and accommodate them in classrooms with not more than 40 pupils per teacher.
The new data which highlight the challenges ahead in reaching the new Sustainable Development Goal to provide every child with 12 years of quality education by 2030, indicates that 96 countries are still struggling to achieve universal primary education.
UNESCO projects that only 37 countries (39 per cent) will have enough primary teachers in classrooms by 2020 and the share will rise to 56 per cent by 2025.
“However, 33 countries (34 per cent) will still not have enough teachers to achieve universal primary education in 2030,” it said.
According to UNESCO, sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest challenges, with a total of 2.7 million teachers needed in schools today, adding that the situation will likely get worse, as the region struggles to accommodate a growing school-age population.
“For every 100 children of age to start school today, there will be 142 in 2030. As a result, countries across the region will need to create 2.2 million new teaching positions by 2030 while filling about 3.9 million vacant positions,” it said.
The paper indicates that across the region, nearly seven in ten countries are faced with an acute shortage of teachers. And the situation in many countries may deteriorate as governments struggle with overcrowded classrooms and the rising demand for education from growing school-age populations.
UNESCO however, notes that in the rush to recruit more teachers, many countries are forced to hire people with little or no training. The UIS data show that in one-third of all countries, less than 75 per cent of teachers were trained according to national standards.
It concludes among others, that the Sustainable Development Goal to provide every child with 12 years of quality education will remain just that – a goal – without urgent action to address the chronic teacher shortages.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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