Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education and key to sustainable global development. However, their training, recruitment, retention, status and working conditions remain preoccupying.
Moreover, there is a worldwide shortage of well-trained teachers. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 69 million teachers must be recruited to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.
UNESCO has made the supply of well-trained, supported and qualified teachers one of its top priorities. This focus has been reinforced by Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education through the Education 2030 Framework for Action, which has a target calling for a substantial increase in qualified teachers through the betterment of their training, recruitment, retention, status, working conditions and motivation (target 4.c).
UNESCO hosts the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 and they work together to address the “teacher gap” as well as tackle the issues raised in target 4.c and in the Incheon Declaration, which specifically calls for Member States to “ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems”.
UNESCO’s work regarding the development of teachers mainly focuses on five areas:
- Monitoring of international normative instruments regarding the teaching profession;
- Supporting Member States in the development and review of teacher policies and strategies;
- Developing capacities for enhancing the quality of teaching and learning;
- Improving the knowledge and evidence base for the implementation and monitoring of the teacher target in Education 2030; and
- Undertaking advocacy and knowledge sharing for the promotion of quality teaching and learning.