Once again, protesting contract teachers have been attacked by police wielding long batons, with one being rushed to hospital. This time the teachers were in the state of Punjab in the district of Bathinda. Regular readers of this site will know that such brutal attacks by the police are regular occurrences in India.

Many of the teachers are employed by SSA - the Indian Education For All scheme. Ironically there are many articles in the Indian press this week about the chronic shortage of teachers in the country, with at least a million posts unfilled. The shortfalls are highest in the areas of greatest deprivation.

This situation is typical of the double speak about the right to education, not only in India but globally. On the one hand politicians, business leaders and financial organisations like the World Bank assert the need for universal education and on the other, they tolerate or even encourage situations like that in Bathinda, where teachers are on temporary contracts and poverty pay, and are attacked when they protest. No wonder there is a teacher shortage!