Primary education in Bangladesh and worldwide is facing an emerging threat in human resources—there is an urgent need for more than 8 million more teachers globally. The UN estimates that this looming shortage will affect the goal to ensure universal access to primary education by 2015.
Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Central African Republic (CAR) top the list of countries that will need to mount aggressive recruitment campaigns over the next four years.
“An acute shortage of primary teachers represents one of the biggest hurdles to achieving the goal of universal primary education,” said the report, which stressed: “Policies that effectively address teacher training and retention should be at the core of national education policies.”
Unesco’s Institute for Statistics prepared estimated figures which aim to help countries identify recruitment challenges and adjust their budgets accordingly. Approximately 5% of teachers leave each year, hampering education quality and thus having a negative impact on the enrollment of kids in school. Additionally, Unesco emphasizes that there should be a focus on women and greater gender balance among staff in the drive to hire more teachers.
“In many regions a low proportion of female teachers will mean fewer girls at school and consequently even fewer women teachers in the future,” said Unesco’s director general, Irina Bokova.
What can BRAC add to these discussions from its own experiences? What have we learned about recruiting female teachers and retaining talented teachers? Is there still a need for us to deliberately focus on gender balance in teachers? Any comments from our colleagues working in Africa would also be quite welcome!
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