UNESCO launches 2021 State of the Education Report for India: No Teacher, No Class

News UNESCO Headquaters, Paris - 11th October 2021

UNESCO launches 2021 State of the Education Report for India: No Teacher, No Class

New Delhi, 5 October 2021: Today, on the occasion of World Teacher’s Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched its 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: “No Teacher, No Class”.  

This publication is the annual flagship report of UNESCO New Delhi and it is based on extensive research. 

"India has made enormous strides in the education sector in the past decades and teachers have been integral, in this progress. The National Education Policy 2020 recognizes and identifies teachers as the heart of the learning process, and that is why we decided to dedicate the 3rd edition of our State of the Education Report for India, to them. Without teachers, there can be no class."

Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO New Delhi

"NCERT welcomes the launch of UNESCO’s State of the education report for India on teachers. It is time for the world to recognize the exceptional role teachers play in the life of children. NCERT is committed to empower them with the training, professional development, and academic support. We need to invest our efforts in their capacity building and professional development, so that educators can enrich their practice to adapt to diverse learners’ needs".

Dr Sridhar Srivastava, Director, National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT)

The National Education Policy (NEP), adopted in 2020, acknowledges teachers as crucial elements in the learning process, while stressing the importance of their recruitment, continuous professional development, good work environment and service conditions. 

With an in-depth analysis of the current state of teachers in India, highlighting best practices, the UNESCO State of the Education report for India 2021 aims to serve as a reference for enhancing the implementation of the NEP and towards the realization of the SDG.4 target 4c on teachers.

The report also looks at teachers’ experience of ICT and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the teaching profession. The ongoing pandemic has drawn attention to the centrality of the profession and the importance of quality of teaching. During this unprecedented health crisis, most teachers were found to have positive attitudes and beliefs about integrating technology in education, even though they perceived a lack of professional skills.   

The report concludes with a set of ten action-oriented recommendations to address the challenges facing the teaching profession in India, and thus help achieve the NEP 2020 vision and objective – “Ensuring quality education for all in the country”. 

The ten recommendations are: 

  • Improve the terms of employment of teachers in both public and private schools
  • Increase the number of teachers and improve working conditions in North Eastern states, rural areas and 'aspirational districts' 
  • Recognize teachers as frontline workers 
  • Increase the number of physical education, music, art, vocational education, early childhood and special education teachers. 
  • Value the professional autonomy of teachers
  • Build teachers' career pathways
  • Restructure pre-service professional development and strengthen curricular and pedagogical reform
  • Support communities of practice
  • Provide teachers with meaningful ICT training
  • Develop teaching governance through consultative processes, based on mutual accountability

The substance of the Report has been developed by an expert team of researchers in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, under the guidance of the UNESCO Office in New Delhi.  

To illustrate the report, the following audio-visual package is also available free of copyright:

1.    Summary video underlining the recommendations of the Report 
2.    Short capsules

3.    Teasers 

Note to the Editors
UNESCO has made the supply of well-trained, supported and qualified teachers one of its top priorities. This focus has been reinforced by Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education through the Education 2030 Framework for Action.
UNESCO hosts the International Task Force on Teachers (link is external) for Education 2030 and they work together to address the “teacher gap” as well as tackle the issues raised in target 4.c and in the Incheon Declaration, which specifically calls for Member States to “ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems”.

Previous editions


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

In this spirit, UNESCO develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO strengthens bonds among nations. UNESCO fosters scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and manages programmes that foster the free flow of ideas and knowledge sharing.

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For more information, please contact:

Nicole Bella, Head of Education Sector and Programme Specialist
E-mail: n.bella@unesco.org(link sends e-mail)
Rekha Beri, Public Information Officer
E-mail: r.beri@unesco.org(link sends e-mail)


Source: UNESCO