Colombian teachers enter the third week of their strike today, as they fight for proper funding for education and against corporate reform. The strike began on April 22nd as we reported earlier. Teachers in the country are some of the worst paid in Latin America, earning on average $500 a month - not enough to live a dignified life, according to teachers' leaders.

The union FECODE has been in intensive talks with the government, which have so far not reached a conclusion. On the contrary, the government seems to be pressing on with its failure to fund education properly, after promising and failing to increase funding to 7.5% OF GDP when it came to power. Moreover it is imposing corporate style reform on the teaching profession. As FECODE said in its original call to strike action, the government is insisting on privatisation measures and on bringing in electronic clocking in systems, 'which belittle the work of teachers but pay no attention to issues like violence, poverty, malnutrition, lack of parental involvement and shortages of infrastructure and teaching materials.' In other words, in typical education 'reform' fashion, teachers are being paid a pittance, working in very diffucult conditions, blamed for the perceived failure of public schools and subjected to humiliating and time-consuming accountability procedures.

FECODE's website makes clear that the strike is still on and has mapped out a series of actions for the week, including visiting media outlets, collecting signatures calling for the resignation of the education minister, and a 'bicyclethon' to take letters out into the communities. The energy of the strike is particularly impressive giving the history of violence against trade unionists, in particular teaching unionists in the country, when they stand up for labour and education rights, with about 1000 having been assasssinated in the last twenty years.