Collapse of teacher training across Africa demands global leadership

New projections predict a bleak future for the teaching profession in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s time for the international community to invest in the region’s teachers, starting with the G7. By 2030 less than half of Africa’s primary and lower-secondary teachers will have the training they need to do their jobs. That’s according to new projections released by the Atlantis Group, an elite group of former ministers of education and heads of government supported by the Varkey Foundation. A review of international education data published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics shows that the proportion of trained primary and lower-secondary teachers in sub-Saharan Africa has declined rapidly since the turn of the century, even as governments have brought thousands more educators into schools. In primary schools, the percentage of trained teachers has fallen by 27.5% in just 15 years, from 84.4% in 2000 to 61.23% in 2015. In lower-secondary schools, the percentage of trained teachers fell by 18.8% in the six years for which data is available, from 69.4% in 2006 to 56.3% in 2011. The estimated ratio of pupils to qualified primary teachers in the region also remains over twice the global average (57.7 to 26.7). If this trend continues, the Atlantis Group estimates that by 2030 less than half of primary and lower-secondary teachers in sub-Saharan Africa will meet at least the minimum of organized teacher-training requirements.
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