Friday, October 14, 2011

Global Shortage Of Teachers: Critical.

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A global problem concerns the ever-growing shortage of teachers. This is attributable to a combination of factors, including reduced governmental funding of educational programs; the reduced correlation (in the industrialized nations) between the level of education and the assurances of employment and compensation; a lack of funding, vision and enthusiasm for teaching teachers, and for teaching as a professional career (inadequate compensation, increased controversy and politics in schools, decreasing student enrollment, to name a few...).

This shortage is a sort of time-bomb. Ultimately, every industry and profession will have to deal with the aftershocks of a shortage of teachers and a lack of education - declining literacy; generalized incompetence in basic reasoning, mathematical and communications skills; a shortage of professionally- and technically-trained experts. In brief, the quality of the labor force, general skills, and of innovation (entrepreneurship) will steadily decline.

If left unaddressed, this shortage (which is actually an insidiously creeping MegaTrend [in the Futurist's parlance]) will ultimately cause a stagnation of Human progress and an unraveling of civilization. This is taking a backseat to discussions and lobbying about other, seemingly more imminent problems facing the Global Village.

An excerpt from a UN Newswire brief follows:

   Excerpted from The U.N. Foundation Newswire by Douglas E Castle for THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE at 

World facing shortage of 8 million teachers, UN says

The world is facing a shortfall of some 8 million teachers, especially in primary schools, undermining chances of reaching the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015, according to a UNESCO report. Of that number, an estimated 1 million will need to be recruited over the next three years merely to meet the growing numbers of primary school students in sub-Saharan Africa, while 6.2 million teachers will be needed to account for attrition. The Guardian (London)/Data Blog (10/7)
Education, at the collegiate level has become prohibitively expensive; instead of being viewed as a necessity for social and career advancement, it is now, more than ever, being viewed as a very expensive option. In many cases, students graduating from universities face very limited employment prospects, and  huge student loans to repay.

Education is an investment in the future of Humankind. If we fail to re-evaluate our priorities, and place education closer to the top of the list, the International Community will suffer the consequences. We need more incentives to motivate people to go into the teaching professions, and more compelling reasons for students to begin to value education. Education is the mind's and civilization's sustenance; it is not a luxury - it is a necessity.

Teaching and learning must be appreciated, affordable and accessible.

Douglas E Castle []

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