While most people know there's a short supply of nurses, paramedics, and skilled workers in science and technology, there’s another looming employment shortage that could have a global impact across every industry — the world doesn’t have enough teachers.
As large numbers of teachers are set to retire in the coming decade, fewer graduates are entering the profession than ever before. According to UNESCO — the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization — nearly 70 million new teachers are needed globally by 2030 to meet students’ needs. It’s an issue the organization is zeroing in on this year during World Teachers’ Day, an event held since the 1990s to celebrate teachers’ contributions and highlight critical issues in education. This year’s theme: “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”
“It’s a matter of urgency for our young people to see teaching as a valued profession, because right now that’s not the case,” says Edem Adubra, UNESCO’s head of the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers.
Adubra says low pay, a poor work-life balance, scarce opportunities for professional development and decision making, and the allure of higher-paying jobs are discouraging young people to become teachers.