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20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World

In this article, we will look at the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to 5 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World.

Overview of Public Sector Teaching Statistics

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the public school sector had around 3.8 million full-time and part-time teachers in the year 2020-2021. The statistics included around 1.9 million teachers in secondary schools and about 1.9 million teachers in elementary schools. The total number of teachers between 2020 and 2021 increased by 11% as compared to the number of teachers between 2011 and 2012. The total number of public school teachers during the latter was around 3.4 million. Similarly, there were about 1.7 million elementary school teachers in 2011-2012. These numbers increased by 9% by 2020-2021. Secondary schools in 2020-2021 had 13% more teachers as compared to 2012-2013. There were around 1.7 million teachers at the secondary instruction level in 2011-2012. The period between 2011-2012 and 2020-2021 also saw a 2% increase in public school kindergarten enrollment, with the number increasing from 48.2 million students in the fall of 2011 to 49.2 million students in the fall of 2019. However, these numbers dropped by 2% in the fall of 2020 to 48.1 million students, primarily because of the global shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers' Education and Employment 

Overall, the educational standing of public school teachers between the last and present decade has improved. In 2011-2012, 48% of public school teachers had a master's degree. The number increased to 51% of teachers with a master's degree in 2020-2021. Similarly, around 8.4% of public school teachers held an education specialist certificate of degree in 2020-2021, up from 7.6% in 2011-2012. Teachers in both decades had a doctor’s degree as their highest overall degree in the field. 1.4% of public school teachers had a doctorate in 2020-2021, up from 1.1% in 2011-2012. However, the average base salary for public school teachers hasn’t changed in the same time frame. After adjusting for inflation, their average base salary was around $61,600 in 2020-2021, which was not considerably different between 2011-2012. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, elementary and middle school teachers had a mean annual wage of $67,980, while secondary school teachers had a mean annual wage of $69,400 in 2022.

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According to estimates by the World Economic Forum, the global education industry is expected to undergo an expense increase, reaching $10 trillion by the next decade. There will likely be 800 million K-12 graduates by the next ten years, as well as 350 million post-secondary school graduates. In such a scenario, the need for teachers is also increasing. You can also look at 25 Best Countries For College Education. 

Is There a Need For More Teachers?

According to data from the International Task Force for Teacher Education, there were around 93.7 million teachers across the globe. Around 11.6 million of these were pre-primary teachers, while 32.6 million and 20.7 million were primary and lower secondary teachers, respectively. The tertiary education domain had the lowest number of teachers among all: only 13.1 million in 2019. According to the global report on teachers made by the collaboration of UNESCO and the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, the world is plunging into a teacher shortage. There is a global need for around 44 million primary and secondary school teachers by 2030. This translates to a demand of seven out of ten secondary school teachers, along with a dire need to urgently replace more than half of the teachers who are shifting to another profession. This urgent need is scattered unevenly across the globe. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected by this trend, requiring more than 15 million new teachers by 2030. Failure to attain this number is likely to have profound implications, including nonreversible effects on the educational structure and falling student-to-teacher ratios.

Several online platforms have swept the education sector with their productivity, providing learners all across the globe an avenue for remote learning. Some of the major players in this domain include Coursera, Inc. (NYSE:COUR), Chegg, Inc. (NYSE:CHGG), Duolingo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DUOL), All of these companies allow students a platform to learn in addition to the conventional methods of education. Let us take a deeper look at them.

Coursera, Inc. (NYSE:COUR) was founded by Computer Science professors from Stanford University as an online platform for courses, certifications, and degrees. On March 12, Coursera, Inc. (NYSE:COUR) announced its collaboration with Olay, a prominent skincare brand, to launch an online cosmetics science course named, “Introduction to Cosmetics Science and Ingredients.” Students enrolled in the course will learn about the intricate process of developing beauty and skincare products, the role and significance of ingredients in cosmetic products, and the history of the cosmetic industry. Olay’s own cosmetic scientists will teach the course, while also talking about skin physiology, the making of skin models, and suitable practices for developing cosmetic formulas.

Chegg, Inc. (NYSE:CHGG) is another online platform for students that offers academic help and support. Chegg Study is a service that costs $14.95 per month and offers students unlimited access to its database of 46 million textbooks and exam questions. On February 5, the company announced its financial results for Q4 2023 and the full FY 2023. It reported a total net revenue of $188.0 million in Q4, and a total net revenue of $716.3 million in FY2023. Chegg, Inc. (NYSE:CHGG) also reported a subscription services revenue of $166.3 million in Q4, 88% of the total net revenue in Q4. The subscription services revenue for FY2023 was $640.5 million, which was 89% of the total net revenue. The company’s net income was $9.7 million in Q4, and $18.2 million in the full financial year. Here is what Andy Brown, CFO of Chegg, Inc. (NYSE:CHGG) had to say:

“Looking more specifically at our 2023 performance, total revenue was $716 million, with Subscription Services declining 5% to $641 million. Total subscribers were 7.7 million, of which international subscribers were 2.0 million. Since 2021, international has increased from 11% of total revenue to 14% in 2023, or $100 million, and over time, we expect international to be even more significant. Skills and Other revenue of $76 million declined 20% year-over-year. While Skills grew 55%, this was offset by the impact of exiting the textbook business in 2022. We continued to take a prudent approach with expense management, and we were very pleased that we were able to deliver an adjusted EBITDA margin of 31% or $222 million, and a free cash flow margin of 24% or $173 million, which represented 78% of adjusted EBITDA. We expect interest income to contribute less in 2024 from a combination of lower interest rates and a lower cash balance, as a result of the aforementioned repurchases.

Looking at Q4, total revenue came in above the high end of our guidance at $188 million, which drove better than expected adjusted EBITDA of $66 million. Subscription Services revenue of $166 million declined 6% year over year, driven by a decline in subscribers, which was partially offset by the Chegg Study Pack take rate and a continued increase in retention. Skills and Other revenue of $22 million declined 22%, as growth in skills was offset by the impact of exiting the textbook business.”

Duolingo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DUOL) is one of the top remote learning platforms, offering courses and certifications in mathematics, music, and more than 40 languages from across the globe. On February 29, Reuters reported that Duolingo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DUOL) expects a higher-than-expected revenue in FY2024, and is likely to increase its market value by $1.68 billion if the increase in online learning continues. The company’s 2024 revenue forecast is expected to be between $717.5 million and $729.5 million, higher than the average estimate of $699.3 million put together by analysts.

Now that we have looked at the education and teaching sector, let us take a look at the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world. You can also look at 20 Countries that Spend the Most on Education and 25 Countries with Education Problems. 

20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World
20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World

20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World

Our Methodology 

To compile a list of the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world, we have considered the pupil-to-teacher ratio in secondary schools as the primary metric. The data has been taken from estimates by the World Bank and UNESCO Institute for Statistics. However, estimates for all countries aren’t available from the same year. 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world are arranged in ascending order of their pupil-to-teacher ratios for the latest available years.

20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World 

20. South Africa 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2017: 28

South Africa is located at the southernmost edge of the African continent, and has a population of 59.89 million as of 2022. The country ranks 20th on our list of the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world, with a secondary school pupil-to-teacher ratio of 28 as of 2017.

19. Gabon 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 1999: 28

Gabon is a Central African country located across the region’s Atlantic Coast. As of 2022, the country has a population of 2.389 million, according to estimates by the World Bank. It ranks 19th on our list with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 28 in secondary schools. Although the latest World Bank data for the student-to-teacher ratio in Gabon are available from 1999, estimates by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) show that the country had a 51.5 pupil-trained teacher ratio in primary education on a headcount basis in 2019.

18. Rwanda 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2018: 28

As of 2018, Rwanda has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 28 in secondary schools, and 60 in primary schools. The country has the second-highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in primary schools in the world, standing right behind the Central African Republic with a ratio of 83 as of 2016.

17. Nepal 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2019: 28

Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia with a population of 30.55 million as of 2022, according to estimates by the World Bank. It ranks 17th on our list with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 28 in secondary schools as of 2019.

16. India 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2018: 29

India is one of the most populated countries in the world, with a population of 1.417 billion as of 2022, according to estimates by the World Bank. As of 2018, the country has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 29. It ranks 16th on our list of the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world.

15. Vietnam 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 1998: 29

The most recent data for Vietnam’s pupil-to-teacher ratio is from 1998. For secondary schools, the country had a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 29. However, Vietnam’s pupil-to-teacher ratio for primary schools is 20 as of 2018. Furthermore, estimates by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) show that the country had a 33.2 pupil-trained teacher ratio in primary education on a headcount basis in 2021.

14. Cambodia 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2007: 29

As of 2007, Cambodia has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 29 in secondary schools. Data for the country’s pupil-to-teacher ratio in primary schools is available from 2018, standing at 42. According to estimates by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the country had a 42.06 pupil-trained teacher ratio in primary education on a headcount basis in 2020 and a 9.9 pupil-trained teacher ratio in secondary education on a headcount basis in 2021. Cambodia ranks 14th on our list.

13. Niger 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2017: 30

With a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 30 in secondary schools as of 2017, Niger ranks 13th on our list. The country is located in West Africa, with a population of 26.21 million as of 2022, according to estimates by the World Bank.

12. Nicaragua 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2010: 31

Nicaragua is a Central American country located between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It ranks 12th on our list with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 31 in secondary schools, and 30 in primary schools as of 2010.

11. Central African Republic 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2017: 32

The Central African Republic has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 32 in secondary schools as of 2017. It ranks 11th on our list. Previously known as Ubangi-Shari, the landlocked country is located in Central Africa.

10. Guinea 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2011: 33

As of 2011, Guinea has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 33 in secondary schools. It ranks tenth on our list of the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world. According to estimates by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Guinea had a 62.57 pupil-trained teacher ratio in primary education on a headcount basis in 2020 and a 42.13 pupil-trained teacher ratio in secondary education on a headcount basis in 2019.

9. Kenya 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2009: 33

Kenya is an East African country located on the coastline of the Indian Ocean. The country has a population of 54.03 million people as of 2022, according to estimates by the World Bank. The country ranks ninth on our list with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 33 in secondary schools as of 2009. According to data by the Basic Education Statistical Booklet released by the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Kenya has a 52 pupil-to-teacher ratio in public institutions at the pre-primary level education level as of 2020, and a 26 pupil-to-teacher ratio in private institutions at the same level as of 2020. Furthermore, the country has a 41 and 23 pupil-to-teacher ratio in public and private institutions at the primary education level as of 2020, respectively.

8. Afghanistan 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2018: 34

Officially known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the country ranks eighth on our list with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 34 in secondary schools. Afghanistan has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 49 in primary schools. These estimates were made in 2018.

7. Papua New Guinea 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2016: 34

As of 2016, Papua New Guinea has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 34 in primary schools. It ranks seventh on our list of the 20 countries with the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the world.

6. Eritrea 

Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in Secondary Schools as of 2018: 35

Eritrea is a northeast African country located on the coast of the Red Sea. As of 2018, the country has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 35 in secondary schools, ranking it sixth on our list. The country has a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 39 in primary schools as of 2018.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World

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Disclosure: None. 20 Countries with the Highest Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.