Since time immemorial, teachers of all types have always acted as a doorway that leads people, especially young people, through the maze of knowledge.
The quality of the teacher has and will always be what determines the confidence and progress that is made by the student. If the teacher is bad, it will only reflect in the student’s attitude and behavior.
Better teacher training is therefore an essential component of a student’s process, and consequently a student’s personal advancement is the heart of national progress.
That is why better teacher training is a key fundamental to national progress. The goal to achieve universal education cannot be achieved if teachers in developing countries are not well trained to deliver quality education to students.
According to UNESCO, Sub-Saharan Africa requires 1.6 million additional primary school teachers,450,000 new teachers are required across the Arab States, and an additional 325,000 teachers in South and East Asia, primarily in Afghanistan.
But it is not quantity alone that will make a difference to these mainly developing regions of the world. Rather, effective teacher recruitment, training and deployment policies and ongoing support is key to ensuring that progress is realized in developing countries.
Education is a lifelong necessity for the individual as well as professional growth but only if that education is provided by a teacher who fully understands their job and executes it properly.
When students receive proper training and a subsequently go into the world, the sum of what they go on to achieve is determined by the quality of teachers that they have had in their life.
The development of teachers thus has an incredible impact on developing countries’ ability to build a solid base of well trained human resources. A human resources base that consists of people with quality skills acquired through teaching is essential for progress.
A lack of teacher training capacity will only derail the ability of developing nations to figure out solutions to the major problems that they face.
However, while highly critical, training teachers alone is not enough. Well trained teachers require effective incentive schemes so that they can efficiently deliver knowledge to students. Effective incentive schemes also ensure that well trained teachers are retained.
Also, teachers need to be supplied with proper resources that will enable them to carry out their work. In addition, teachers need to function in an environment in which they are free from intimidation and victimization, conditions that are usually non-existent in many developing countries.
To make matters worse, in many developing countries, well trained teachers and other professionals have been victims of brain drain thereby contributing to the regression of their own countries, and costing national budgets dedicated toward teacher training immensely.
Even if well trained teachers are victims of brain drain, it does not negate the fact that the process of training teachers is an essential bedrock to progress and development.
Put bluntly, poor teacher training is indeed a barrier to the improvement of education and progress outcomes in developing countries.
For example, in the teaching of math and science subjects, teacher quality does matter in order to convey highly abstract concepts to the students. In the event that the teacher is not well trained, he or she will not be able to encourage students to think on their own. The same goes for other subjects.
Well-trained teachers are therefore critical in helping students to identify both what they are good at and what they want to do in their lives.
In a full cycle format, well trained teachers have the ability to adequately impart knowledge to students, and if well taught, students can go on to use the knowledge in sectors that contribute to the overall growth of developing countries.