Coalition partner mobilizes for teachers

Over 9 million untrained teachers worldwide impacted by COVID-19

New data released today by the Teacher Task Force show that 9.1 million teachers across the world who have been impacted by coronavirus school closures (out of 63 million affected teachers in total) are untrained. This is only exacerbating the impact of the crisis as teachers are forced to adapt to remote learning.

The problem is most acute in sub-Saharan Africa where nearly half (42% or 2.7 million) of all the 6.4 million primary and secondary teachers impacted by school closures are untrained. In Central and Southern Asia, 3.3 million teachers impacted by school closures are untrained – almost a quarter (24.5%) of the 13.8 million teachers impacted overall. In Latin America and the Caribbean there are 894,000 untrained teachers who have been impacted – 14% of the 6.4 million teachers impacted overall.

Meanwhile, data released by the Teacher Task Force, which is hosted by UNESCO, on the basis of data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the International Telecommunication Union, show 706 million of the world’s 1.75 billion learners lack internet access.

The data revealing the scale of the educational challenge posed by COVID-19 was discussed at the TEACHERS OF THE WORLD UNITE! summit on coronavirus and the future of education, held on 26 May.

The summit – which was opened by Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize – saw the launch of nine teacher task forces on coronavirus and the future of education to be coordinated in collaboration with the Teacher Task Force. These nine task forces will lend governments and international bodies the expertise and varied perspectives of teachers from every continent on key policies such as providing reliable internet access for all, solutions to keep children learning where there is no internet, and a safe environment for teachers and students to return to when schools reopen.

The Teacher Task Force gave the teachers present at the summit the opportunity to contribute to a draft toolkit with practical tips and checklists for school leaders to ensure they are supported and protected as schools re-open. Participants were able to discuss the toolkit and provide feedback to help improve this important international tool before it is released.