A recent Demonstration in Tahrir Square, Cairo  Teachers in Upper Egypt have called for a strike at the beginning of the new school year The teachers are demanding amongst other things - a pay rise. At present a starting teacher earns just $20 a month - rising to $60 to $70 after five years. Class sizes can be as big as 90. Egypt's teachers were in the forefront of the heroic struggles which led to the ousting of the dictator Mubarak - who is presently on trial for ordering the killing of demonstrators. Even before the so-called Arab spring, Egyptian teachers had formed a breakaway union - illegal in Egypt at the time - against the official union which was staffed and lead by government appointees. The police who attempted to quell the revolution were given a 100% pay rise in the spring. Since then they are continuing to arrest and harry demonstrators calling for an end to the power of the old supporters of Mubarak in the current army-led regime, Meanwhile in the education system little has changed - conditions are still appalling, pay is not enough for bare survival. Abdel Hafiz - a leader of the independent teachers' union told Labour Notes that the security services still 'control everything in education.'  The education ministry is still controlled by Mubarak supporters and security forces still watch teachers. In a significant statement, Hafiz said that teachers wanted to 'gain control of their work.'To read more of this interview go to http://labornotes.org/2011/04/egyptian-teachers-protest-government-snooping-strike-ban. Since the revolution there has been a ban on strikes and demonstrations, but the teachers - like the protestors in Tahrir Square in the past few weeks are leading the struggle to ensure that the sacrifices made in the revolution are not in vain. Ominously however the World Bank is promising billions of dollars of aid to Egypt to 'modernise their economies.' One key to this they say is to accelerate private sector growth: 'as the main engine for jobs and innovation. This region is the least integrated in the global economy. International trade and investment can bring capital, technologies, know-how, and connections to markets. Domestic investment can multiply the growth opportunities in a new competitive structure.' This is the same formula which they were using when lauding the Mubarak regime. This is what the Mangaging Director of the World Bank said about Egypt a few months before the revolution: 'The country appears to be in strong position to weather the worst impacts of the economic crisis. The World Bank Group is committed to continue to support Egypt in further consolidating the development and reform program and initiating innovative approaches in critical sectors.We are eager to continue to work with a demanding middle-income partner like Egypt and are prepared to provide technical as well as financial support and share experiences from other parts of the world.' International capital is keen to continune business as usual with the old dictatorships. The teachers and others leading the fight for real democracy in that country deserve all our solidarity. (For good updates on the situation in the Middle East and North African countries in English go to: http://menasolidarity.com