UNESCO is projecting that by 2030 there will be a global shortfall of 25+ million teachers. 2030 is a long time from now, but there is a plenty to do between now and then if anything will alter this projection.
As educators point out repeatedly “everyone knows…” that education is about relationships between trained educators (aka certified teachers) and kids. However, this doesn’t scale. There can not possibly be enough of these resources to meet the realities of the rapidly expanding global population in developing counties, particularly in Africa where the birth rate is currently about 4+ children per woman.
The only hope for a positive outcome – populations with some basic literacies – reading and math, is with technology supported learning. Ideally these initiatives will include provisions for concerned “others” – families, communities, to participate in the guidance and relations that are important to learning. The Global Learning XPRIZE initiative is a start. However, it seems unlikely that this effort alone can do more than raise awareness and scratch the surface of the problem.
Educators can contribute enormously by being open to the need, willing to understand the problem and work with folks who are looking for pieces that can be contributed to the broader solution. The problem may not be in your classroom, but the solution may be.