Teachers in the Afghanistani capital, Kabul, have been on strike for three days this week, demanding a living wage. One of the strikers, who has been teaching for 20 years, told the press he only earned $150 a month. Moreover many of the teachers are homeless. Last year at the World Teachers' Day ceremony, the President promised to increase the teachers' salaries and to give each a piece of land on which to live - both promises which he failed to carry out.

The strike started in a high school in Kabul and has now spread to other parts of the capital.

Teachers in Afghanistan are some of the most courageous in the world. They have suffered decades of foreign invasions and the country has been subject to more violence against schools than any other. Women teachers are paritucularly threatened.

In the wake of the invasion by the US, the UK and their allies, the World Bank has been operating there 'improving education' - about the last things the beleaguered teachers need. It is concentrating on: 'Teacher Training, Infrastructure, Learning Assessment, Education Management Information System, Results Framework, progress on the Impact Assessment of EQUIP II, new institutional arrangements for Social Mobilization, Strengthening Education Governance and O&M at the sub-national level, mainstreaming Gender and assessing Fiduciary and Safeguards compliances.'

It seems almost beyound belief that the mouthpiece of US capital should be interfering in the school system in Afghanistan, in the wake of the war, which has left chaos in its wake. As in so many parts of the world, what teachers and children need is not this kind of 'reform' but decent conditions in which to work and a wage which would allow them to live with dignity.