Once again teachers in India, demonstrating peacefully for permanent contracts have been attacked by police wielding lathis - long batons - with reports saying that six were injured. The protest took place in Patna in the state of Bihar, where 66,000 teachers are on temporary contracts, earning only half what their permanent colleagues do and of course with no job security.

The teachers were attempting to march on the state assembly building when they were attacked by the police. They were simply demanding equal pay for equal work and of course proper contracts. Only last year the contract teachers of Bihar went on hunger strike for the same reason. This website has reported story after story about contract teachers in India and their fight for justice which has involved strikes, protests, hunger strikes and suicide by self-immolation.

The use of contract teachers is a policy which is frequently advocated by the World Bank, which has commissioned 'studies' which purport to show that contract teachers work harder than their permanent colleagues and provide education more cheaply. Public education is desperately underfunded in India, in violation of the constitutional duty of the government to provide free education to all children. Part of the way of keeping the cost down is to exploit teachers on temporary contracts and terrify them into carrying on providing education on the cheap by threatening them with the sack or attacking them with batons.