Teachers | Global Partnership for Education



In Kibera slums, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo credit: GPE/ Deepa Srikantaiah
Teachers are the essential link to delivering a quality education to all children. To achieve the goal of universal education, the world needs more, better trained and better supported teachers.

Teachers have the single biggest impact on children learning (John Hattie, Visible Learning).

The availability of well-trained, motivated and supported teachers, nurturing and stable learning environments and adequate learning materials are among the factors that lead to effective teaching and positive learning outcomes.

While student-teacher ratios have improved – mostly in richer countries – in recent years, many countries continue to have an average of 40 or more students per teacher, inadequate teacher training, and limited teaching resources.

UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers


Teachers and learning
Learn why the quality of learning remains a major challenge in many developing countries and what GPE is doing to close the learning gap.
Teachers and learning
More teachers, more learning in Cameroon
More teachers, more learning in Cameroon
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The challenge

  • The world will need to recruit 25.8 million school teachers to provide every child with a primary education by 2030. This total includes the creation of 3.2 million new posts and the replacement of 22.6 million teachers expected to leave the profession. (UIS Factsheet 2015)
  • In low-income countries, there is an average of 43 students per teacher (GEM Report 2013/14, Table 10 p. 391). This means that in many schools, teachers have much larger class sizes, making their job much more difficult.
  • In one-third of all countries, less than 75% of teachers were trained according to national standards (UIS)
  • Countries with more female primary teachers are more likely to have higher enrollment rates for girls in secondary schools. Unfortunately, in some countries, less than 25% of primary teachers are female. (UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers)
  • It is difficult to recruit and retain teachers in remote rural areas and in conflict-affected areas, where the majority of out-of-school children are.

GPE's response

The Global Partnership recognizes the importance of supporting governments to invest in teachers and effective teaching. GPE works with local partners to ensure that teacher policies and issues are integrated in education sector plans and grant applications.

More specifically, the Global Partnership:

  • Funds components of education sector plans linked to promoting teacher quality and learning.
  • Helps promote national education strategies that respond to community needs and that empower local actors – including civil society and teachers – to demand and monitor the implementation of quality education services.
  • Promotes teacher participation in education sector policy dialogue.


78% of primary teachers received pre- or in-service training in GPE partner developing countries in 2013
  • Among GPE partner countries, student-teacher ratios in primary education have improved, especially in fragile and conflict-affected countries where they fell from 44 to 40 students per teacher between 2008 and 2013. (GPE calculations based on UIS data)
  • 78% of primary teachers received pre- or in-service training in GPE partner developing countries in 2013. (R4L Report 2014, p. 41)
  • 76% of lower-secondary teachers received pre- or in-service training in GPE partner developing countries in 2011. (R4L Report 2014, p. 41)