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Home > Education > Teachers Accueil


The shortage of qualified teachers is hampering efforts in many countries to achieve universal primary education. Teacher salaries typically account for more than 80% of education budgets. So governments with limited financial resources are often faced with critical policy trade-offs in seeking to provide quality instruction. To make these decisions, countries need reliable and accurate data. 


What is the role of the UIS?


The UIS provides a core set of teacher indicators based on its administrative data collection. This includes traditional indicators, such as: trends in teacher numbers; pupil-teacher ratios; and data on trained teachers. These figures are used by the UIS, governments and international agencies to analyse the current state of the world’s teaching force.


The UIS is also producing more detailed information on the characteristics, working conditions, salaries and qualifications of teachers. Our goal is to make these data available for as many countries as possible. This entails the development of new survey instruments and data collections. For example, the Institute is developing a global module on teachers to be launched in 2015. Another area of UIS work is the quality of data on teacher training. For example, the Institute is developing a taxonomy on teacher training programmes to enhance the international comparability of indicators in this domain.


Featured Content

Sustainable Development Goal for Education Cannot Advance Without More Teachers (2015)
Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education (2014)
UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers
A Teacher for Every Child: Projecting Global Teacher Needs from 2015 to 2030 (2013)
Sustainable Development Goal for Education Cannot Advance Without More Teachers (2015)
Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education (2014)
UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers
A Teacher for Every Child: Projecting Global Teacher Needs from 2015 to 2030 (2013)
Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring global needs for 2015
Education Counts Benchmarking Progress in 19 WEI Countries: World Education Indicators (2007)
School and Teaching Resources in sub-Saharan Africa (2012)
Global Education Digest (2010): Gender equality
Global Education Digest (2009): Focus on tertiary education
Education Counts: Benchmarking progress in 19 WEI countries (World Education Indicators, 2006)
A View Inside Primary Schools: World Education Indicators (WEI) cross-national study
Projecting the Global Demand for Teachers (2009)
Teachers for Tomorrow’s Schools: Analysis of the World Education Indicators (2001)

Global teacher indicators

The number and distribution of teachers are important policy parameters in determining the quality of education. For example, how does the actual supply of teachers compare to the size of the education system? A commonly-used indicator is the pupil-teacher ratio, which allows us to compare the human resources invested in education across countries and levels of education. It is important to note, however, that sufficient numbers of teachers doesn’t ensure quality instruction without proper training and motivation. 

Teacher demography

Education planners are increasingly concerned by the demography of teaching forces. By monitoring the age distribution of teachers, it is possible to anticipate potential changes in the size and composition of the teaching force. It is also important to consider the right gender balance within a teacher force, which can influence the learning achievement of pupils.

Graduates of teacher training programmes vs. teachers in service in Africa

Most countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa are facing severe teacher shortages. Where primary education systems have expanded rapidly, many teachers have been recruited without having completed the necessary national training. To help assess the efficiency of education systems to train teachers while attempting to meet the rising demand for teachers, the UIS collects annually regional data on the number of graduates of teacher training programmes in primary education, and produces the percentage of this number out of the total number of teachers actually teaching in primary schools.


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