The main challenge faced by the teaching profession today is both one of numbers and quality. With an estimated 1.7 million new teachers required to reach universal primary education by 2015, the recruiting of new teachers must go hand in hand with improving the quality of teaching and learning, Achieving quality education for all, in line with Goal 6 of the Dakar Framework for Action, calls for more and better trained teachers, as pedagogical processes lie at the heart of quality education. Equally, schools must be supported in attracting qualified teachers. The challenge of quantity must be met head-on, while ensuring quality and equity.
UNESCO works to address these challenges and aims to mobilize and assist Member States in the design and implementation of viable national policies for teacher initial and continuous training, recruitment, retention, status and working conditions.
The Organization’s activities are guided by the UNESCO/ILO Recommendations on the Status of Teachers, and framed by a new teacher strategy. A new initiative, Quality teachers for EFA. is replacing the Teacher Training Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa (TTISSA), and focuses on developing institutional capacity for training and developing a high quality teaching force in countries most hampered by the lack of teachers.