On World Teacher’s Day, the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued statistics revealing that close to 69 million new teachers are needed to provide quality universal primary and secondary education by 2030, the deadline of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Entire education systems are gearing up for the big push to achieve [SDG 4] by 2030,” said Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the primary global source for statistics on education, in a news release on Wednesday.
“But education systems are only as good as their teachers. Global progress will depend on whether there even is a teacher, or a classroom in which to teach with a manageable number of children instead of 60, 70 or even more pupils,” she added, noting the need to provide training, resources and support for teachers to do their job.
Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education also includes a specific call for more qualified teachers, and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.
The message from UNESCO coincides with this year’s celebrations of the 2016 edition of World Teacher’s Day – held under the theme Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status – highlighting the importance of the teaching profession for global development as well as the need for urgent action to address the shortage of teachers.
The 2016 World Day commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing in 1966 of the UNESCO / ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers, and celebrates the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels.
The Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers has, essentially, served as a charter of rights for teachers worldwide. The Day has been celebrated annually since 1994.