Given the wide variety of challenges that educators in Africa face, socio-economic instability through the lack of employment appears to be common amongst all African countries. Educators unemployment rates have spiraled across Sub-Saharan Africa as too few educators gain the skills needed to find work.
Many educators remain marginalised from social and economic opportunities, with limited access to essential resources. Educators in Sub-Saharan Africa are among the most vulnerable of all persons the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aim to reach.
Despite the consequences of the financial downturn in some of Sub-Saharan Africa countries, leaders are not working hard to increase the roles educators can play in decision making arenas. Global campaigns have been organised and more are ongoing to mobilise development actors to stop seeing educators as liabilities but as development partners of Sub-Saharan Africa countries.
Research in the developing countries revealed a significant ‘skills mismatch’ between employer requirements and educators’ displays of skills in institutions or workplace, particularly in relation to communication, decision-making and critical thinking. Preparing educators for the workplace is an enormous challenge that needs different government departments, universities, the private sector and society to simultaneously pull together.
Employers are generally satisfied with the disciplinary knowledge of educators but there are gaps in information technology skills, personal qualities such as reliability and transferable skills like team-working and problem-solving.
Solving the educators’ unemployment problem needs coordinated efforts between diverse segments of government and society to enhance the quality of university education, both to improve individual life chances and also to contribute to the broader development of society, fostering innovation and strengthening citizenship and democracy.