25,000 teachers in Nepal have been taking part in hunger strikes in protest at the government's failure to grant them permanent contracts. The teachers, many of whom have been working for years, have no security of tenure, lower pay than their permanent colleagues and no pension or maternity rights. Even permanent teachers in the country are on little more than poverty pay.
A staggering 40% of teachers in Nepal are not on permanent contracts - a situation which is replicated in many countries in the global South. The employment of teachers on temporary contracts is actively encouraged by organisations like the World Bank and right wing academics who regard them as 'a more cost-effective means of imparting learning.' The human cost to both teachers and students is of course not considered.
The teachers protested outside the Nepal Teachers Federation in the capital Kathmandu.