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Data on teachers

Teacher data: SDG indicators and other sources

IN 2019, THERE WERE ABOUT 93.7 MILLION TEACHERS WORLDWIDE: 11.6 MILLION IN PRE-PRIMARY; 32.6 MILLION IN PRIMARY; 20.7 IN LOWER SECONDARY; 15.7 IN UPPER SECONDARY; AND 13.1 IN TERTIARY EDUCATION.

SDG 4 is the education goal that aims to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” It is made up of ten targets. To support the role of teachers in the achievement of SDG 4 specifically and other SDGs more generally, Target 4.c states that “By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States".

Seven indicators have been defined to measure Target 4.c. Statistics on teachers and other data collected by the UIS from UNESCO Member States can be found in the UIS database.

A COLLECTION OF OTHER RELEVANT SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL-LEVEL TEACHER DATA IS AVAILABLE HERE.

 

CHECK OUT ALSO THE NEW UNESCO-TTF TRACKER ON GLOBAL TEACHER VACCINATIONS.

 

Indicator 4.c.1 - Proportion of teachers with the minimum required qualifications, by level of education

Indicator 4.c.2 - Pupil-trained teacher ratio, by level of education

Indicator 4.c.3 - Percentage of teachers qualified according to national standards, by level of education

Indicator 4.c.4 - Pupil-qualified teacher ratio, by level of education

Indicator 4.c.5 - Average teacher salary relative to other professions requiring a comparable level of qualification

Indicator 4.c.6 - Teacher attrition rate, by level of education

Indicator 4.c.7 - Percentage of teachers who received in-service training in the last 12 months by type of training

 

Indicator 4.c.1

Proportion of teachers with the minimum required qualifications, by level of education

Note: Corresponds to the previous indicator on “Trained teachers”. Refinement of the indicator name approved by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) on 13 March and 2 April 2020. Final approval occurred during the 52nd session of the Statistical Commission in March 2021.

Definition: Percentage of teachers by level of education taught (pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education) who have received at least the minimum organized pedagogical teacher training pre-service and in-service required for teaching at the relevant level in a given country.

Purpose: Teachers play a key role in ensuring the quality of education provided. Ideally all teachers should receive adequate, appropriate and relevant pedagogical training to teach at the chosen level of education and be academically well-qualified in the subject(s) they are expected to teach. This indicator measures the share of the teaching work force which is pedagogically well-trained.

Calculation method: The number of teachers in a given level of education, in a given academic year who are trained is expressed as a percentage of all teachers in that level of education, in that academic year.

Interpretation: A high value indicates that most students are being taught by teachers who are pedagogically well trained to teach.

Limitations and comments: National minimum training requirements can vary widely from one country to the next. This variability between countries lessens the usefulness of global tracking because the indicator would only show the percent reaching national standards, not whether teachers in different countries have similar levels of training. To address this limitation, the UIS has initiated the development of an international classification of teacher training programmes that can be used for comparisons of such programmes across countries.

Types of disaggregation: By sex, level of education and type of institution (public/private).

 

Indicator 4.c.2

Pupil-trained teacher ratio, by level of education

Definition: Average number of pupils per trained teacher at each level of education (pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary education). A trained teacher is one who has received at least the minimum organized pedagogical teacher training pre-service and in-service required for teaching at the relevant level in a given country in a given academic year.

Purpose: To measure trained teacher workloads and human resource allocations in educational institutions, and to give a general indication of the average amount of time and individual attention a pupil is likely to receive from trained teachers. Since well-trained teachers play a key role in ensuring the quality of education provided, the pupil/trained teacher ratio is considered an important determinant of learning outcomes and an indicator of the overall quality of an education system.

Calculation method: The total number of pupils and students in the relevant level is divided by the number of teachers who have received at least the minimum organized pedagogical teacher training in the same level.

Interpretation: The higher the pupil/trained teacher ratio, the lower the relative access of pupils to qualified teachers.

Limitations and comments: In calculating and interpreting this indicator, one should take into account the existence of part-time teaching, school-shifts, multi-grade classes and other practices that may affect the precision and meaningfulness of pupil/teacher ratios.

Types of disaggregation: By level of education and type of institution (public/private).

 

Indicator 4.c.3

Percentage of teachers qualified according to national standards, by level of education

Definition: Percentage of teachers by level of education taught (pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education) who have at least the minimum academic qualifications required for teaching their subjects at the relevant level in a given country.

Purpose: Teachers play a key role in ensuring the quality of education provided. Ideally all teachers should receive adequate, appropriate and relevant pedagogical training to teach at the chosen level of education and be academically well-qualified in the subject(s) they are expected to teach. This indicator measures the share of the teaching work force which is academically well-qualified.

Calculation method: The number of teachers in a given level of education who are qualified is expressed as a percentage of all teachers in that level of education.

Interpretation: A high value indicates that most students are being taught by teachers who are well qualified.

Limitations and comments: National academic qualification requirements can vary from one country to the next.

Types of disaggregation: By sex, level of education and type of institution (public/private).

 

Indicator 4.c.4

Pupil-qualified teacher ratio, by level of education

Definition: Average number of pupils per qualified teacher at each level of education (pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary education). A qualified teacher is one who has received at least the minimum academic qualifications required for teaching their subjects at the relevant level in a given country.

Purpose: To measure qualified teacher workloads and human resource allocations in educational institutions, and to give a general indication of the average amount of time and individual attention a pupil is likely to receive from qualified teachers. Since well-qualified teachers play a key role in ensuring the quality of education provided, the pupil/qualified teacher ratio is considered an important determinant of learning outcomes and an indicator of the overall quality of an education system.

Calculation method: The total number of pupils and students in the relevant level is divided by the number of qualified teachers in the same level.

Interpretation: The higher the pupil/ qualified teacher ratio, the lower the relative access of pupils to qualified teachers in teaching various subjects.

Limitations and comments: In calculating and interpreting this indicator, one should take into account the existence of part-time teaching, school-shifts, multi-grade classes and other practices that may affect the precision and meaningfulness of pupil/teacher ratios.

Types of disaggregation: By level of education and type of institution (public/private).

 

Indicator 4.c.5

Average teacher salary relative to other professions requiring a comparable level of qualification

Note: * Indicator not included in the September 2020 data release because no data are currently available at the UIS.

Definition: Annual gross statutory starting salary for a qualified primary or secondary teacher in public institutions relative to the average annual gross statutory starting salary for a basket of professions requiring a similar level of qualifications to qualified teachers. This indicator could be presented as a ratio.

Purpose: To give an idea of the relative attractiveness of the teaching profession compared to other professions requiring a similar level of qualification. The rationale is that if salaries in the teaching profession are attractive, it is more likely to attract quality candidates.

Calculation method: Annual gross statutory starting salary for a qualified primary or secondary teacher in public institutions, divided by annual gross statutory starting salary for a basket of professions which require a comparable level of education.

Interpretation: If this indicator is presented as a ratio, a value above 1 would indicate that, from a starting salary perspective, the teaching profession is relatively attractive. A value below 1 would suggest that, relative to other professions requiring a similar level of qualifications, the teaching profession is less attractive.

Limitations and comments: Salaries are probably the simplest to collect, since bonuses are difficult to average as they vary depending on hours worked, location, etc. However, salaries in themselves may not offer a good representation of the total remuneration a teacher will get, which includes bonuses, a potential pension and/or other social security benefits. Starting statutory salary (not including bonuses, allowances and pension contributions) is recommended as a better choice than the vaguer ‘average’ salary both from a data collection and logical point of view (since the indicator is designed to shed light on comparative attractiveness of good candidates to enter the teaching profession.

Types of disaggregation: By level of education

 

Indicator 4.c.6

Teacher attrition rate, by level of education

Definition: Percentage of teachers at a given level of education leaving the profession in a given school year.

Purpose: Assessing and monitoring teacher attrition is essential to ensuring a sufficient supply of qualified and well-trained teachers as well as to their effective deployment, support and management.

Calculation method: The number of leavers is estimated by subtracting the number of teachers in year t from those in year t-1 and adding the number of new entrants to the teaching workforce in year t. The attrition rate is the number of leavers expressed as a percentage of the total number of teachers in year t-1.

Interpretation: A high value indicates high levels of teacher turnover which can be disruptive for the learning of students.

Limitations and comments: In calculating this indicator, care should be exercised to avoid double counting regarding teachers that teach more than one level of education. Also, the existence of part-time teaching, school-shifts, multigrade classes and other practices that may affect the precision of the number of teachers and the new entrants to the teaching profession should be taken into account.

Types of disaggregation: By sex and level of education.

 

Indicator 4.c.7

Percentage of teachers who received in-service training in the last 12 months by type of training

Note: * Indicator not included in the September 2020 data release because no data are currently available at the UIS.

Definition: Percentage of teachers by level of education taught (pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education) who, during the last academic year, have received in-service training.

Purpose: Besides pre-service qualification and training requirements, teachers should receive from time to time relevant in-service training for the level of education they teach in order to enhance their teaching proficiency. This indicator measures the share of the teaching work force which received in-service training during the last academic year.

Calculation method: The number of teachers in a given level of education who received in-service training in the last year of a given type is expressed as a percentage of all teachers at that level of education.

Interpretation: A high value indicates that teachers are receiving additional training during their working careers in the given area of training thus enhancing their ability to teach.

Limitations and comments: While calculating this indicator, care should be exercised to include all teachers at a given level of education who received in-service training as part of their teaching responsibilities during the last academic year. Double counting of teachers who teach more than one level of education should be avoided.

Types of disaggregation: By sex, level of education, and type of training.

 

A COLLECTION OF OTHER RELEVANT SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL-LEVEL TEACHER DATA IS AVAILABLE HERE.

 

Further documentation available at:

SDG – Education 2030 Steering Committee. 2020.  Ensuring quality teacher education: a key to building resilient education systems, July 2020. Paris: UNESCO.

UNESCO. 2016. Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action. Paris: UNESCO.

UNESCO - UIS. 2018. Metadata for the global and thematic indicators for the follow-up and review of SDG 4 and Education 2030; October 2018. Montreal: UIS.

UNESCO - UIS. 2020. SDG teacher indicators: 4.c.1-4.c.4 and 4.c.5. Second meeting of the TCG Working Group on Teachers, 26 October 2020. Montreal: UIS.