Contract teachers in India have once again been attacked by police in India. 25 were injured, 15 of them seriously, when police attacked them with batons and water cannon.

The teachers, who are employed in Panchkula, in Haryana state, were in the streets demonstrating as part of their long struggle for proper government contracts. They are teachers of computer studies and are employed on a contract basis by private companies to teach in government schools. They started their strike five months ago, because many of them had not been paid at all. As one striking teacher said at the beginning of the strike: 'We are requesting the department to stop our exploitation. We have not been paid for 13 months. We will not take salaries from companies. We want the government to give salaries directly to us failing which we will launch hunger strike.'

This is just the latest of many reports on this site about the appalling way in which teachers are too often treated in India. Hundreds of thousands are on temporary contracts, on poverty pay, or in the case of the Panchkula teachers, no pay at all. When they take their legitimate grievances to the streets, they are ignored by politicians and attacked by police.

Meanwhile the government of India continues to talk about the right to education, while completely failing to fund public schools, as it encourages more and more private schools of all types to set up shop, including a large chain run by Pearson India. Worse still, just as the attention of the world is focused on the issue of child labour, the Modi government is watering down moves to ban child labour, which is endemic in the country. Education activist Niranjanaradhya has written about this issue here.