International organizations celebrated International Teachers’ day on October 5th.
According to the UNESCO report, UNESCO’s report: “A TEACHER FOR EVERY CHILD: Projecting Global Teacher Needs from 2015 to 2030” about 58 per cent of countries currently do not have enough teachers in classrooms to achieve universal primary education, with the problems particularly bad in Sub-Saharan Africa and Arab States where by 2030, some 4.7 million teachers and 1.9 million, respectively.
On the other hand, countries like Japan have more teacher candidates than necessary: there are many applicants so that only a third or a fourth (approx) candidate can become a teacher. When I was in a Japanese University studying pedagogy, those who wanted to become teachers practiced interview and class lessons and studied so hard for the exam. Unfortunately, not everyone could make it to the teacher and waited for the following year’s exam or gave up teacher´s career.
So I wish we could make a system to distribute teacher candidates to the countries which lack teachers. Of course other challenges such as language and support system will follow but I think there always is a way. It could be like Jica’s volunteers, Peace Corp or Teach for America, but those are all teacher candidates who studied pedagogy and want to pursue teachers’ career in the future.
Personally, I think it is ideal that teachers are local people because they know the culture and language, and have sense of belonging. But in the countries where there is a lack of teachers also lack students who go to higher education to become a teacher, either high school or university depending on countries. That is, in the parallel of sending teachers, it is important to develop educational system to prepare students to go to higher education.
Teaching job is tough given that in addition to subject matter, they have to deal with parents and low pay which does not correspond to the preparation and other work (with the exception of some countries like Finland where teachers´ status is high). But I think it is really amazing job to raise future generation and you can also learn from them.