2.2.4 Assessing the environment: difficulties, challenges, and gaps
A teacher policy should not hide the challenges, uncertainties and potential roadblocks a system faces to reach its objectives, including the political dimensions of policy formulation and implementation (see Chapters 4 and 5). These are equivalent to threats, vulnerabilities or risks in other planning terminology, whether political, economic, social, cultural or natural. A policy should clearly identify the known existing teacher gaps, both quantitative and qualitative, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of previous policies and strategies that have attempted to address them. These elements bring a sense of reality in terms of capacity and constraints (demographic, human resource, financial or other); they further define pragmatic benchmarks and timelines, and help increase the chance that the policy will be effective (IIEP and GPE, 2012: 9, 16, 19, 21, 24; UNESCO, 2012a: 36–38).