The latest facts and statistics on teachers

teachers dayTo mark World Teachers’ Day, we have partnered with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 to pull together key facts and statistics on challenges for teachers around the world.

The new factsheet provides the latest UIS data on trained teachers, the global indicator for SDG target 4.c. Globally, 85% of primary teachers were trained in 2018 but only 64% in sub-Saharan Africa. The proportion of teachers that are trained in sub-Saharan Africa is falling, mostly due to the rising demand for education from a growing school-age population.


Training is crucial, not only on core pedagogy, but also to support educators in managing more diverse classrooms, and in implementing the content promoted by SDG 4, the global education goal. Yet the latest GEM Report, for instance, showed that teachers often feel they lack support and are ill prepared to teach in diverse multilingual, multicultural classrooms.

SDG target 4.7 calls for education to foster gender equality, among other values and principles. Yet, teachers receive little training in making this a reality. Teachers are also not adequately prepared to teach comprehensive sexuality education. In Ghana, 94% of teachers believe in abstinence before marriage. In Kenya, even after training, 71% of teachers still depicted sex as danger­ous or immoral for young people.


To teach effectively, teachers, like children need decent classroom conditions, yet many schools are still without electricity or basic sanitation.  In sub-Saharan Africa, UIS data shows that only 34% of primary schools had access to electricity and 44% access to basic drinking water in 2017-18. In low-income countries, one quarter of primary schools do not have single-sex basic sanitation facilities.


If teachers are to teach effectively, enough of them should be in place.  But there is a shortage of teachers where they are most needed. The new factsheet looks at the lack of teachers in displacement settings, and in host-countries for refugees. The last GEM Report showed that, if all refugees enrolled, Turkey would need 80,000 addi­tional teachers, Germany would need 42,000 teachers and educators, and Uganda would need 7,000 additional primary teachers. Yet, refugee teachers are often excluded from national training programmes because of pro­fessional regulations on the right to work.

Women may be the majority of teachers worldwide, but very few teach in higher levels of education. While 94% of teachers in pre-primary education worldwide are women, only 30% are in upper secondary educa­tion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Help share this factsheet with your networks. See others we have produced along the way on education and the SDGs, girls’ education and disability.

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