It is hard to imagine for teachers working in the richer countries of the world. But for millions of teachers in the global South it is a daily reality: not only are the salaries they receive so small that they are often unable to provide for themselves and their families, on too many occasions they do not get paid even the money which they are owed.

The latest country to point up this appalling state of affairs is Nigeria and not for the first time. Teachers in many states there are owed money for anything from three to 23 months as of June 2017. Now teachers all over the country are protesting at plans to transfer the payment of teachers from state to local governments, a move which they fear will make the failure to pay them even worse. 

In giving a 30 day strike notice if arrears are not paid, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Union of Teachers : “Education should be seen as a right enshrined in our constitution. We are not against local government autonomy, but if they say primary education should go to the local governments, it will lead to slavery. We will be breeding more illiterates than literates.”

Teachers and their unions all over the world are fighting for justice for their members and the children they teach. Meanwhile education corporations and their friends in the World Bank continue to blame teachers for the failure to provide education for all in the global South, seeing the education of children as yet another potential

A new puts the blame where it belongs however. Nigeria is the richest economy in Africa and yet has the highest income disparity with some 112 million people living in poverty and the country's richest man earning 8,000 times more per day than a poor man spends in a year, The report says of education that spending on is 'shamefully low, and reflected in very poor social outcomes for its citizens.'