Every child in the world has the right to a quality education; no child has a chance of realising that right without an effective teacher. But hundreds of millions of children around the world lack professional, well-trained, well-supported teachers.
The result is that hundreds of millions of children are denied their opportunities to learn to read, to develop creative skills, to discover the wider world, or even to attend school in safety. This catastrophic gap in trained teachers cannot be tackled without clear recognition of the importance of trained teachers, which means governments and donors putting in place the policies and the financing to ensure that every child has a trained teacher.
The World Bank is the world’s biggest funder of basic education, and is a major source of policy advice on education, particularly in low-income countries, where the most acute teacher gaps are found. In recent years, World Bank funding for basic education fell, particularly in the countries with the greatest gaps; they have recently reversed this trend, and it is important that this progress is maintained. The Bank’s policy advice on teachers, meanwhile, has often led countries to lay off teachers, shut down teacher training, or resort to employing teachers on the cheap, with little or no training.
We are therefore calling on the World Bank to commit to closing the trained teacher gap through its funding, its focus, and its and its work on policies and data.