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A lack of qualified teachers and poor working conditions for teaches worldwide are highlighted in a report released on World Teachers Day by Education International.

World Teachers' Day this year focuses on the global shortage of qualified teachers which is highlighted the report Global Status of Teachers and the Teaching Profession.

More than 263 million children and youth worldwide are not in school and a staggering 617 million children and adolescents – nearly 60 per cent globally – have not mastered basic literacy or numeracy.

According to UNESCO, “in many places, children are deprived of the right to education because of a global shortage of qualified and experienced teachers – particularly female teachers in low-income countries”.

The EI report reveals common challenges faced by teachers worldwide such as poor working conditions, precarious contracts, inadequate teaching tools and high levels of stress.
 
All these issues contribute to making the profession unattractive to young people as well as causing attrition – both hugely problematic at a time when there is an urgent need to address the global shortage of qualified teachers in order to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4.
 
The study, written by Professor Nelly P. Stromquist from the University of Maryland, is based on the results of a survey that includes the voices of 140 teacher organisations affiliated to EI, from early childhood through to higher education.
 
The report highlights six trends in education and identifies paths to improve the quality of teaching and, with it, education systems at large:

  • the increasing number of unqualified teachers across the world
  • the decreasing level of teacher supply as many graduates are not interested in teaching
  • the significant teacher shortage across the world, particularly in secondary education
  • the changing legal status of teachers and university teaching personnel, from stable employment to fixed-term contracts and part-time positions
  • the diminishing level of support by governments for public education
  • the expansion of privatisation in/of education

 EI believes that the global numbers of children out of school and low literacy and numeracy levels can only be addressed through qualified teachers who have access to continuous professional and leadership development (CPLD).
 
The report highlights the urgent need for improvement in CPLD - only one in three teachers (30 per cent) report having access to CPLD and 77 per cent see the CPLD they do receive as of poor quality and little value.
 
EI General Secretary David Edwards said the report was a“wake-up call to governments”,
 
He said: “While it is more accepted that education is essential, governments need to put their money where their mouths are.”

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