44 million primary and secondary teachers will be required by 2030- UNESCO report 

Recent UNESCO data indicates that to achieve the education target set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), approximately 44 million primary and secondary teachers will be required by 2030 globally. 

This led to a high-level panel on the Teaching Profession, convened by the UN Secretary-General, which has made several recommendations aimed at reshaping the future of teaching. 

These recommendations seen by NewsTimes were unveiled at the 14th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (TTF). 

Discussions at the forum were therefore heavily focused on teacher recruitment and retention, addressing key issues such as working conditions, salaries, autonomy, initial training, and ongoing professional development. 

What the recommendations are set to achieve 

The recommendations aim to foster a supportive environment that empowers teachers to act as catalysts for educational change, enabling students to critically engage with knowledge and acquire the necessary skills and competencies for the modern world. 

The Panel emphasized that teachers should transcend the role of mere information providers to become active and collaborative facilitators for students.

Ensuring sufficient funding for educational systems and the strategic use of technology in learning emerged as overarching themes in the formulation of these recommendations. 

Building on the landmark UN Summit on Transforming Education in 2022 and supported jointly by the ILO and UNESCO, the High-Level Panel’s recommendations are based on six core imperatives, covering dignity, humanity, diversity, equity and inclusion, quality, innovation leadership and sustainability. 

What the panellists said 

The UN Secretary-General spoke about the global teacher shortage and enhancing support for educators to adapt to changing educational systems, with a focus on valuing the teaching profession through better working conditions, competitive salaries, and opportunities for growth and innovation, while also leveraging technology to support and enrich teaching practices. 

  • Teachers are central to nurturing every country’s greatest resource: the minds of its people. Yet today, we face a dramatic shortage of teachers worldwide, and millions of teachers who lack the support, skills and continuing training they need to meet the demands of rapidly changing education systems”. 
  • “The High-Level Panel’s wide-ranging recommendations are premised on the need to value and respect the teaching profession – this requires decent working conditions, competitive wages, space for teacher’s voice in decision-making and opportunities for development and innovation,” said Paula Mae Weekes, Co-Chair of the Panel and former President of Trinidad and Tobago. 
  • Technology holds tremendous potential for both teaching and learning so long as it is put to use in ways that are supportive of teacher inputs over its pedagogical use, the integrity of the profession and is equitably integrated,” said Kersti Kaljulaid, Co-Chair of the Panel and former President of Estonia. 

The panellists criticized the employment of unstable teaching contracts and austerity measures that compromise both the working conditions of teachers and the quality of education. 

They further recommended actions to guarantee gender equity, foster sustainable development, and enhance teacher leadership.

Emphasizing the need for a more diverse and inclusive teaching workforce, they also advocated for increased social dialogue among stakeholders at both national and international levels.  

The full report of the High-Level Panel can be found here.

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