The Teacher’s Waking Nightmare

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

You did well at school and at college. You studied hard and made great sacrifices to qualify as a teacher – determined to help the next generation reach their full potential. But now you’re standing in a poorly-equipped classroom in front of 50 children aged from 6 to 11 years old. You have a few textbooks that are falling apart, only a handful of pens and pencils, a few scraps of paper, and no chalk for the chalkboard painted on the crumbling wall behind you. And your pupils are looking at you expectantly, ready for you to teach them everything that they need to know.

This is not some nightmare that ends when you wake up. It’s a daily reality for many of the world’s teachers. Continue reading

Closing the Teacher Gap: Almost 69 Million Teachers Needed

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and Vikas Pota, Chief Executive of The Varkey Foundation

Many of us had one we will never forget – a teacher who inspired and encouraged us. We were fortunate. Millions of children today are not so lucky.

On World Teachers’ Day (5 October), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released a paper setting out the first-ever estimates of how many more teachers are needed to ensure that every child is in school and learning what they need to know by 2030. In short, the world has just 14 years to recruit a total of 68.8 million teachers: 24.4 million primary teachers, and almost twice as many – 44.4 million – secondary school teachers. Continue reading