Almost 69 million teachers needed to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4 

To mark World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released the first-ever estimates of how many teachers are needed to achieve the global goal for education by 2030. In the next 14 years, countries must recruit almost 69 million teachers to provide every child with primary and secondary education: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers.

Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) demands inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030. The needs are urgent, with an estimated 263 million children and youth still out of primary and secondary school globally, according to a new UIS paper. SDG 4 includes a specific call for more qualified teachers and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.

Teacher shortage is most severe in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa faces the largest teacher gap: it will need a total of 17 million primary and secondary school teachers by 2030. It is also the region with the fastest-growing school-age population. It is already struggling to keep up with demand: more than 70% of the region’s countries face acute shortages of primary school teachers, rising to 90% for secondary education.

 

Large class sizes persist in Southern Asia

Southern Asia has the second-largest teacher gap, especially at the secondary level. Only 65% of youth across the region are enrolled in secondary education, with the pupil-teacher ratio at 29:1 (2014 estimates) – far higher than the global average of 18:1. Southern Asia needs another 15 million teachers by 2030, the vast majority (11 million) at the secondary level.