Teachers in Benin are continuing with their long struggle for democracy, labour rights and education funding. For the last three days they have been on strike with a number of key demands including the regularisation of teachers on temporary contracts, an end to volunteer teachers, the payment of bonuses owed and the employment of thousands more trained teachers to meet the shortage across every school sector. The failure to fund education properly means that some classes lack teachers completely, others are vastly overcrowded, sometimes with multiple grades in one class.

This is just the latest stage in the teachers' struggle. In the past they have been subject to oppression including arrests, attacks by security forces and in past strikes, their replacement by military conscripts. Although the country is an ostensible democracy, the government of President Boni Yayi is becoming increasingly dictatorial. In 2013 the government was condemned by the International Trades Union Congress for its violations of labour rights.

Meanwhile as teachers fight for public education, foreign investors are making hay from the 'structural adjustments' mandated by the International Monetary Fund - particularly the opportunities offered by privatisation.