World in Need of More than 60 Million Teachers

December 2, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. shortage / ˈʃɔr tɪdʒ / (n.) – the state of not having enough of something needed
Example: The hospital had a shortage of medical supplies.

2. school-age / skul-eɪdʒ / (adj.) – old enough to attend school
Example: The government gives bonuses to families with school-age children.

3. underpaid / ˌʌndəˈpeɪd / (adj.) – not paid enough
Example: She left her job because she felt underpaid and overworked.

4. entrant / ˈɛn trənt / (n.) – a new member of a profession or an organization
Example: The newest entrants are currently undergoing training.

5. face-to-face / ˈfeɪs təˈfeɪs / (adj.) – involving direct interaction or contact with another person
Example: We can plan the project more effectively in a face-to-face meeting.


Read the text below.
Nearly 69 million new teachers are needed to reach the 2030 global education goals set by the international organization UNESCO.

According to UNESCO, or the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, over 263 million children worldwide do not have primary or secondary education because of teacher shortages. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia suffer the greatest teacher scarcity, as both regions’ school-age populations continue to rise. These regions require 76% of the total number of teachers needed.

To meet the demand, 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers must be recruited in the next 14 years.

However, despite the serious demand for teachers, the European Commission reported that the profession does not receive enough recognition. The majority of teachers feel underpaid and undervalued because of inadequate compensation. In relation to this finding, a US-based education organization also reported that teacher salaries have declined since the 1990s.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics director Silvia Montoya emphasized the need for more investment in the profession to encourage new entrants. More funds will also ensure that teachers will receive the training, resources, and support they need to perform their job well. She added that if current conditions do not improve, 43 of the 102 countries with the biggest teacher shortages will not achieve their targets by 2030.

Meanwhile, other organizations are also helping solve the shortage problem. In Ghana, Varkey Foundation initiated a teacher-training project. Using distance learning, or education without face-to-face interaction, the foundation has been training 5,000 teachers for the past two years. Varkey chief executive Vikas Pota said that they also plan to expand the project to other schools.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are other possible ways to hire more teachers? Discuss.
·         Why do you think there is a shortage of teachers?

Discussion B

·         What are some alternatives to learning in the classroom?
·         In what ways can a student learn without a teacher?

December 2, 2016