Handbook of International Development and Education
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Handbook of International Development and Education

Edited by Pauline Dixon, Steve Humble and Chris Counihan

This Handbook considers the myths and untruths that currently exist in international development and education. Using historic and contemporary evidence, this compendium redefines the international development narrative through a new understanding of 'what works', drawn from pragmatic ideas and approaches.
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Chapter 11: Improving the status and quality of teachers in developing countries

Vikas Pota


From the US to China to Nigeria, it doesn’t matter where in the world you were born, you grew up knowing that education is the surest route to a good life. Parents the world over long for their children to do well at school so they will have a better chance of getting a good job, earning a decent wage and having a fulfilling life. And in this case, what is true for the individual also resonates at a national level. Even a cursory comparison of data around academic achievement and literacy and numeracy rates shows strong correlation between the prosperity of a country and a successful education system. Recent research by Professors Peterson and Hanushek shows that national prosperity in the last decade can be mapped against improving Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results: ‘the differences in long-run growth rates are mainly accounted for by differences in cognitive skills’ (Peterson and Hanushek, 2013). In 2013, North America had just 6.18 per cent of the world’s adult population but 37.02 per cent of global wealth. Africa had 10.33 per cent of the adult population, but just 0.98 per cent of global wealth (Credit Suisse Research, 2013). Of all the regions in the world, the area where need is most acute and the challenges most complex is sub-Saharan Africa, which I will focus on in this chapter.

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