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Home > Education > Global Demand for Primary Teachers Accueil

Global Demand for Primary Teachers 


Stand up for teachersTo mark UNESCO's World Teachers' Day 2012 the UIS released updated projections on the global supply and demand for primary teachers to 2015. View all the data in the new UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers.


The supply of teachers is failing to keep pace with the demand for primary education


Updated UIS projections on the demand for teachers show that a total of 1.7 million additional primary teaching positions will need to be created by 2015 in order to achieve universal primary education (UPE). Factoring in an attrition rate of 5% per year, the total number of primary teachers needed climbs to 6.8 million, globally.



Impact in sub-Saharan Africa

The situation is most dire in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 1 million new posts, must be created in order to meet the rising demand for primary education.
Some countries in the region need to more than double their current teaching workforce to meet the goal of UPE. The most critical teacher gaps are found in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Malawi, Mali and Niger, which will need to increase their teaching forces by more than 10% per year to ensure enough primary-level teachers are in classrooms by 2015.


Quality vs. quantity


The pressure to hire more teachers to meet UPE and offset attrition rates can lead to the recruitment of less qualified teachers. In sub-Saharan Africa many countries have not been able to hire enough teachers with qualifications that meet national standards. In Angola and Malawi, which have some of the highest rates of teacher attrition, less than one-half of newly recruited teachers are qualified, putting the quality of education in these countries in jeopardy.


The UIS releases new projections on global teacher shortages each year to help national and international policymakers identify and evaluate recruitment challenges and the budgetary implications associated with achieving UPE by 2015.


UNESCO e-Atlas of Teachers

 eAtlas of Teachers,


To illustrate the latest data on the global demand for teachers, the UIS has created the eAtlas of Teachers with statistics from more than 200 countries and territories, including data on gender in the teaching profession and teachers’ working conditions. See how your country is faring.






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