World Teacher's Day, celebrated on 5 October provides an excellent opportunity to honor the remarkable contributions of teachers worldwide. From instilling a love for learning to imparting valuable life lessons, teachers leave an unforgettable mark on their students' lives. Their dedication and passion inspire us all to strive for excellence, making them true champions of education. Under the theme "The teachers we need for the education we want: The imperative to reverse the teacher shortage," 2023's celebrations emphasise the critical importance of halting the decline in teacher numbers and prioritising efforts to strengthen their presence internationally.
What are the potential consequences of a reduced number of teachers?
While this concern is relevant on a global scale, it's particularly relevant to the African continent. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics indicates that the most significant deficits in teaching personnel are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, posing a significant risk to the continent's development. The region requires approximately 17 million teachers in total to realise the goal of universal primary and secondary education by 2030.
This basic education predicament also affects young people's acquisition of future skills—a formidable barrier to their employment prospects and potential. According to a report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), approximately 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will demand digital skills by 2030. While these figures may seem daunting, they also fuel our desire to continue to innovate and drive greater change, while reflecting on the profound impact of SAP's philanthropic efforts.