According to reports from Borno state in Northern Nigeria, over 350 teachers have been killed over the last period and 512 schools destroyed by the brutal fundamentalist group, Boko Haram. The number of children killed in the attacks has not even been counted. 

The chair of Borno state's education board told an education summit in the capital Abuja,  'Apart from the state government, we are yet to get support from anywhere, particularly from the previous government. We are worse than a conquered territory.'

While the abduction of the schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014 did briefly hold the world's attention, with ultimately empty rhetoric about improving school security and celebreties posting selfies with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, the caravan has moved on and teachers and children are still having to work in conditions which are not only lacking in basic infrastructure but are in fear for their lives.

Nor is  Nigeria unique in this respect. We read this morning about protests by teachers in one of the most dangerous areas of Pakistan, FATA. One primary teacher told the press: 'Tribal teachers (are) performing duties in remote and risky areas, but the high ups of the education department are taking no interest in solving their problems.'

Violence against teachers and students is also endemic in North Eastern Kenya and the Philippines and in many other countries around the globe.

It almost defies belief that often in these same countries, teachers are subjected to vitriolic criticism about their 'failure' to provide education and thus 'solve' the problems of poverty, when they are not even given safe spaces in which to teach and learn.