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Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

Trained teacher shortage: Nigeria needs to allocate extra $1.8b per year, says UNESCO

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educationBy Maryam Garba Hassan

A recent report released by UNESCO and Education For All (EFA) and Global Monitoring Report (GMR) shows that with the alarming number of out of school children in the world, Nigeria alone which has 10.5 million out of school children will need to allocate an extra US$1.8 billion per year to pay salaries of additional trained teachers to address shortage of teachers in the country.

According to the report, 4 million more teachers are needed in the world by 2015 to address the issue of chronic lack of trained teachers in the world.

 The report said that eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa would have to recruit at least 5% of their secondary school graduates into the teaching force by 2020 and that Nigeria would need to recruit up to 30%.

It said in sub-Saharan Africa, the cost of paying the salaries of the additional teachers required by 2020 totals an extra US$5.2 billion per year before counting for training, learning materials and school buildings.

 “The good news is that most countries can afford to hire the extra teachers if they continue to steadily increase investment in

education,” said Hendrik van der Pol, director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

He said over the past decade, education budgets across Sub-Saharan Africa have been growing by 7% in real terms, reflecting the

commitment to get more teachers and children in classrooms.

According to the report, without action, it will be impossible to get ll children into school by 2030.

The new UNESCO policy paper, published on this year’s World Teachers Day, said in the rush to fill the chronic, global shortage of teachers many countries are sacrificing standards and undermining progress by hiring people with little or no training as teachers in schools. The paper that was prepared by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR), shows that at least 93 countries have an acute teacher shortage and need to recruit some four million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

 It however said that if the deadline is extended to 2030, more than 27 million teachers need to be hired, 24 million of whom will be required to compensate for natural attrition.

At present rates, however, 28 (or 30%) of these 93 countries will not  meet these needs as Sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest teacher shortage, accounting for two-thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030, the  report added.

“A quality universal primary education will remain a distant dream for millions of children living in countries without enough trained teachers in classrooms,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

 “Teachers are the core of any education system. Hiring and training new and already established teachers is fundamental to protecting children’s ability to learn in school.’

According to the report ,under pressure to fill gaps, many countries are recruiting teachers who lack the most basic training. In one-third of countries with data, fewer than 75% of primary school teachers were trained according to national standards in 2012.

 In Angola, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and South Sudan, this figure falls below 50%.

As a result, in roughly a third of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMR shows that the challenge of training existing teachers is greater than that of recruiting new teachers to the profession.

“Putting well-intentioned instructors in front of huge classrooms and calling them teachers will not deliver our ambitions to have every child in school and learning,” said Aaron Benavot, director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report.

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