Education and Skills

Where are the worst teacher shortages?

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Education and Skills?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Education is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


Education is fundamental to building healthy societies and economies, but a lack of teachers in many countries is holding back progress.

Across the world at least 74 countries face an acute shortage of teachers. This results in millions of children being excluded from primary education and beyond.

1512B11-teacher replacement rate to achieve UPE

The Global Goals have a specific goal aimed at ensuring every child has access to a quality education by 2030, but data from the UN shows that to achieve this we will need to recruit nearly 26m new teachers.

Map 1: Projected total teacher recruitment needed today

1512B11-teacher shortages world mapSource: UN

The UN has created an interactive map to explore the issues of teacher shortages. It shows both current gaps and projected recruitment needed by 2030.

Currently Nigeria faces the biggest shortages – the West African nation needs an additional 380,000 teachers. India also faces shortages in excess of 350,000, while Indonesia needs nearly 190,000 more teachers.

Map 2: Projected total teacher recruitment needed by 2030 (new posts and attrition)

1512B11-teacher recruitment needed by 2030

Source: UN

Conversely, by 2030, China will need another 3.5m teachers, India 3m and Indonesia 1.2m, as shown in the map above.

The UN also outlines the countries that are closing their teaching gaps, with progress being made particularly in Africa. Mozambique is due to end its teacher shortage by 2020, while also reducing the pupil-to-teacher ratio. Chad, Guyana and Mali should close their gaps shortly after, in 2022, based on current trends.

Various initiatives have made this possible, including a strategic government plan in Mozambique, the Global Partnership for Education investment in Chad and a World Bank project in Guyana.

To keep up with the Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Joe Myers is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content. 

Image: A teacher writes the phrase “Today it is the start of the new school year” on the blackboard of her classroom on the first day of the new school year at a primary school in Nice, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard. 

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Why we need global minimum quality standards in EdTech

Natalia Kucirkova

April 17, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum