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Teacher shortage

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During a meeting of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education in Johannesburg, South Africa, the United Nations issued a global alert over a shortage of teachers, with the lack greatest in secondary education.

According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), seven out of 10 teachers at the secondary level will need to be replaced by 2030, along with over half of all teachers who will have left the profession by then.

The agency said the effect of a worldwide teacher shortage is profound, creating larger class sizes, overburdened educators, educational disparities, and financial strain on school systems, impacting educational quality and access.

According to a UNESCO report, the world needs 44 million teachers by 2030 in order to make the Sustainable Development Goal of quality and equitable education a reality.

Attrition rates among primary teachers almost doubled from 4.62 percent globally in 2015 to 9.06 in 2022, with teachers often leaving the profession within the first five years, the report revealed.

Recommended responses to the challenge include recommendations to cultivate an environment where teachers can drive educational change, foster critical thinking, and promote modern learning skills. Adequate funding for education systems and technology integration are key, with a focus on supporting the use of digital learning and other technology.

According to recent estimates, financing additional teachers will cost $12.8 billion for universal primary education and $106.8 billion for universal secondary education. The annual additional financing needed to cover salaries at primary and secondary levels by 2030 is estimated at $120 billion.

The Philippines already knows of what the UNESCO report speaks of, as our schools and learners are experiencing most of those problems already. Hopefully, as the rest of the world is still preparing for that eventuality, our officials have already prepared a plan to address that shortage which has a critical impact on the youth and by extension, the future of any country that fails to prioritize any shortage when it comes to its teachers.*

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