Working Conditions of Teachers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


Student learning levels in low- and middle-income countries are disappointingly low,
and analysis of the proximate causes often points to failures among teachers, such as a lack of content knowledge or high absenteeism. This review proposes that these metrics of teacher performance need to be viewed in the full context of teachers’ working conditions, for which there are few systematic data. We propose a framework for analyzing teachers’ working conditions, adapting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Then – drawing on an extensive quantitative and qualitative literature, including 133 Public Expenditure Reviews and Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys – we provide an overview of teachers’ working conditions across countries. We find that many education systems fail to provide basic working conditions for teachers to perform. This paper highlights a range of levers that could be explored to provide teachers with a conductive professional environment and improve teacher performance.
Last updated on 10/27/2018