At least six teachers were injured in Srinagar in the province of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. They were protesting the anti-education policies of the state government. Police attacked the teachers with long batons and twelve teachers were arrested.

This is a situation which is repeated often in India. Only last June teachers in the same town were attacked with tear gas and batons. The hiring of teachers on temporary contracts is rife in the state and such teachers were only earning $48 a month. 

The teachers are demanding the resignation of the education minister and were attacked when they were walking towards his offices.

The policy of hiring teachers on temporary contracts is rampant all over the global South, particularly in South Asia. It is one which is enthusiastically promoted by the World Bank, in document after document. Such a policy ties in with their mantra of 'getting more for less', as well as, in their view, disciplining teachers. As they say in their infamous document, 'the use of contract teachers can strengthen the scope for local monitoring of teacher performance by parents and school councils, which results in higher teacher effort, which results in better student learning outcomes.'

In fact the failure to treat teachers in a respectful way has dire consequences, both for students and  for the teachers themselves. There are many cases both in India and elsewhere of teacher suicide as a result of the uncertainty and poverty caused by this practice. Moreover the frequent protests and strikes in India are a direct result of the determination of teachers to be treated justly and to defend public education. As another teachers in the Sirangar protests put it: 'Teachers are nation builders and we know our responsibilities. But the government is showing a cavalier attitude towards us. This only exposes the government's hollow claims of bringing improvement in the education sector in the state.' The same could be said with equal justice about the World Bank, the main purveyor of the 'more for less' doctrine.