Teachers in the Quinghai province of China have taken to the streets in protest at discrimination against them and the use of temporary contracts. The Autonomous Region of Tibet borders on the province, and the teachers, most of whom are ethnic Tibetans although some are Han Chinese, receive as little as a sixth of the pay of their colleagues. 

The use of so-called 'contract' teachers is a common tactic throughout the global South, as a way of controlling staff and paying them much lower salaries. It is one encouraged by the World Bank, for example in its document  It is yet another neo-liberal 'reform' policy which has been imported into China. Only last month we on a teachers' strike against the use of Performance Related Pay in the country, which was being used as a way of depressing rural teachers salaries.

In the case of these teachers, who protested outside government offices in Quinghai, they are paid $80 - $160 a month with no extra benefits like medical care, as against $479 - $799 plus benefits for permanent teachers in the province.

The problem is exacerbated in this part of China by discrimination against Tibetan people and the Tibetan language - ;Substitute&;%20Teachers%20Call%20for%20Benefits,%20Higher%20Pay.html">reports say that Han Chinese are hired in preference to their Tibetan colleagues and that many young Tibetans, with high school qualifications are jobless. So, just as in many parts of the world a toxic mix of racism and neo-liberal 'reform' policy has a devastating impact on the lives of teachers.