Contract teachers in India have once again been attacked by police as they took action in order to try and secure proper contracts and pay. The teachers are in the Jammu and Kashmir region, where there are about 4,000 contract teachers who were taken on on a temporary basis and have now lost their jobs. Yet they say there are 20,000 vacancies in the education department.

The protests are being led by the Jammu and Kashmir Temporary Teachers Association, who say that many of their members have studied for many years to become teachers, including many with degrees and more. One teacher said: 'I’m a PhD and joined as a contractual teacher last year, thinking my services may get regularised in future.' Moreover their pay is only $48 a month, nothing like enough to live on, so that they are having to ask for help from their families.

The teachers held a massive protest in Sirangar earlier this week and then were attacked by police as they attempted to start a protest march. According to reports, many were injured including two women, some critically, by police hitting them with Lathis (long batons). Moreover many more were arrested. Some young teachers are on hunger strike and the union is threatening a mass hunger strike if their demands are not met.

This is typical of the treatment handed out to contract teachers all over the global South. There are many reports on this website of teachers being attacked, if they fight for their rights. Such attacks, miserable pay and precarious work are the true face of the education 'reformers' in the World Bank and corporations, who claim to want to bring about 'education for all'. In fact their aim is to dismantle teaching as a profession, destroy public education and replace it with privatised testing factories, to create both profits and a flexible and biddable globalised workforce.

Teachers, like those in Jammu and Kashmir are in the front line of the fight for public education. Please send them your support.