Press Release 7/2006: 18.1 Million extra primary school teachers needed by 2015 in order to achieve Education for All, UNESCO study finds
Education International (EI) welcomes the UIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics) report and considers it an important advocacy tool: "It will help us persuade the international community to take the political and strategic decisions required to recruit the qualified teachers that we need to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015" said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen at a joint UNESCO-EI press conference today.
The UIS report, released today, predicts that 18.1 million new qualified teachers will have to be recruited in the next nine years - in primary education only - for the Education For All (EFA) initiative to succeed. EI stresses that several conditions must be met to ensure the delivery of quality education:
- Life-long teacher training programmes are essential to making the teaching career more attractive. These programmes would provide a greater incentive for professionals from all fields to switch careers at midlife and become teachers.
- Only properly qualified teachers should have the right to teach. The UIS report identifies "serious problems with teacher training and quality in many parts of the worlds". EI opposes the trend in developing countries to rely on ‘cheap’ and untrained para- or voluntary teachers.
- Governments must improve their planning to avoid teacher shortage and attrition as well as overcrowded classrooms. Developing countries should also waste no time in investing in secondary education, so that pupils may pursue studies leading to qualifications (and – why not – to a career in teaching if they so wish).
The UIS report also examines the status and working conditions of teachers and analyses factors such as training, entry standards, salary scales and teaching hours.
EI supports the conclusions of the UIS report and recommends that:
- the UIS report be distributed widely among governments
- a similar report be undertaken by the UIS about secondary education.
PRESS CONFERENCE: WED 26 APRIL AT 10.30 AM UNRIC MEETING ROOM (8TH FL), RESIDENCE PALACE, BLOC C2, 155 RUE DE LA LOI, 1040 B-BRUSSELS
CONTACT: Dominique Marlet, Press Officer, cellphone +32 477 506 416