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Africa: Teachers and Doctors

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the average cost is of training (a) local and (b) UK-based (i) teachers and (ii) doctors to work in developing African countries. (138940)

[holding answer 23 May 2007]: The average costs for training doctors and teachers in Africa are not collected by the main international databases (e.g. UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring report) due to the difficulty in tracking the wide variety of different training programmes and initiatives across Africa as well as poor data quality.

However, the World Health Organization estimated in 2006 that globally, health budgets will have to increase by at least US$10 per person per year by 2025, to educate and pay the salaries of the four million health workers needed in the 57 countries with severe shortages. Most of these countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the UK Department for Health, the cost of training a doctor to full registration including the first year of working in the NHS is between £200,000 and £250,000. This does not include costs of postgraduate training as this is far highly variable and it is difficult to arrive at a meaningful average.

According to the UK Department for Education and Skills—Training and Development Agency (TDA) the cost of training a teacher in the UK can range from £4,500 to £19,000 with an average cost of approximately £12,000. It should be noted that this average uses the total funds paid by the TDA for an academic year and the total number of registered teachers. The figure is therefore only indicative as there are numerous different routes into teaching within the UK.