Universal primary school attainment requires attention to teachers, not just students

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!

Please see the original article for more information.


One thought on “Universal primary school attainment requires attention to teachers, not just students

  1. Heidi,This is a truly beautiful and iasairntionpl piece. I can relate whole-heartedly to your message, both as a parent and a teacher. Yes .our children are so precious. I often watch my daughter go off to school with her heavy back pack, looking like she’s carrying the cares of the world on her shoulders and wonder . How does she fit in? Do her teachers like her even a little? Will she feel successful, supported and encouraged by her teachers and peers?Then, as a teacher, yes . I try to create an environment that will nurture every child who comes into my room. There are times, however, when I feel I am inadequate for the huge task at hand. Sadly .no ..I don’t always reach my students. As hard as I try, I cannot provide for them in a way a parent’s interest in their well being, their education can do. There are many who experience so many obstacles to being happy and successful that come into our rooms .You have put an enormous challenge out to us all .parents and teachers alike. You have given us all something to think about in a unique and poignant way. Oh, if only all parents could express the same level of passion in their children’s education as you have for your children’s education. But while many parents are just trying to keep their lives afloat, at least they have you to be their spokesperson to speak up for their children. They are, after all, the whole reason behind what we do!Thank you, Heidi, for creating this and sharing it!

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