Publish at November 24 2021 Updated November 26 2021

World Report 2021 on the Status of Teachers

Salaries, working conditions, professional autonomy...

The 2021 edition of The Global Report on the Status of Teachers 2021, based on a survey of education union leaders and representatives in different countries, highlights that the teaching profession is no longer able to attract new generations of educators because of the conditions of employment within education systems. Continuing teacher shortages are undermining the right of every student to be taught by qualified teachers.

The report, which involved more than 120 teachers' unions and was prepared by Professor Greg Thompson of Queensland University of Technology in Australia, reviews the factors that influence the status of education personnel around the world, such as salaries, working conditions, professional autonomy and the image of teachers portrayed in the media. The main findings are:

  • Teaching staff salaries are too low, working conditions are deteriorating and infrastructure to support teaching and learning is not a priority for government investment.

    More than 42% of respondents report a deterioration in teachers' working conditions over the past three years. 84% report that salaries have decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Increasing workload.

    More than 55% of respondents note that the workload is becoming unmanageable. More than 66% consider that administrative demands contribute to an excessive workload for education professionals.

  • Attrition of teaching staff.

    This is considered problematic at all levels of education, with the highest figures in primary education (33.1%), the lowest in higher education (17.3%). 48% of respondents believe that teaching is not an attractive profession for young people.

  • Recrease in precarious employment.

    Nearly 60% of respondents report the use of temporary or fixed-term contracts for the recruitment of teaching and academic staff. In some countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South-West Asia, large numbers of contract teachers report that their salaries are lower than those of permanent teachers, that there is insufficient support at the professional level and that their working conditions are of poor quality.
  • Ongoing professional development for teachers remains inadequate.

    Many consider it to be of poor quality, not directly relevant to the issues facing teachers, and at a personal financial cost with no clear career benefits (see Tables 106-112 in the report).

In sum, there is a general deterioration in the status of the teacher and the perceived importance of institutionalised education.

For the report summary (.pdf)

Download the full report : Global Report 2021 on the Status of Teachers

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