, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 391–406 | Cite as

Closing the primary teacher gap in sub-Saharan Africa: How many teachers are needed, and how much would it cost?

  • Amélie Gagnon
  • Elise Legault


Ensuring that every child gets a teacher is a prerequisite to reaching the Education for All goals. Today, 58 million children are still not in school, and while a variety of factors constrain efforts to provide quality primary education for all children, ensuring that classrooms have enough teachers is at the top of the list. Since 2006, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics has been projecting the global demand for teachers. This article presents the latest figures and the methodology behind these projections; it also estimates the costs associated with recruiting enough teachers in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve universal primary education by 2020.


Right to education Education for All Teacher shortages Teacher wages Projections Education financing Sub-Saharan Africa 


  1. EPDC [Education Policy and Data Centre], & UNESCO (2009). Estimating the costs of achieving Education for All in low-income countries. Background paper prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2010. Paris: UNESCO.
  2. IMF [International Monetary Fund] (2014). World Economic Outlook database. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.
  3. Pôle de Dakar (2013). Database on education statistics. Dakar: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  4. UIS [UNESCO Institute for Statistics] (2006). Teachers and educational quality: Monitoring global needs for 2015. Montreal: UIS.
  5. UIS (2013). A teacher for every child: Projecting global teacher needs from 2015 to 2030. Montreal: UIS.
  6. UIS (2014a). Instruction manual: Survey of formal education. Montreal: UIS.
  7. UIS (2014b). Database. Accessed on May 24th, 2014.
  8. UIS & UNESCO GMR [Global Monitoring Report] (2014). Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education. Policy paper no. 15. Paris: UNESCO GMR.
  9. UNESCO (2000). The Dakar Framework for Action. Education for All: Meeting our collective commitments. Adopted by the World Education Forum Dakar, Senegal, 26–28 April. Paris: UNESCO.
  10. UNESCO (2014). Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all. Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Paris: UNESCO.
  11. World Bank (2003). Achieving universal primary education by 2015: A chance for every child. Washington, DC: World Bank.
  12. World Bank (2010). Le système éducatif malien: Analyse sectorielle pour une amélioration de la qualité et de l’efficacité du système [The Malian education system: Sectoral analysis for improving the quality and efficiency of the system]. Working paper. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Copyright information


Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNESCO Institute for StatisticsMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations