Primary teachers demonstrated in New Delhi last week against privatisation.

The teachers, members of the All India Primary Teachers Federation are demanding that the policy of Public Private Partnerships, which are at the centre of World Bank and neo-liberal education reform, be abolished. As we -4209">reported last month, schools in Mumbai are all to be offered to private companies or NGOs to run, so that the local state government can absolve itself of its responsibility to provide education (even under the limited terms of the Right To Education act passed in 2010.)

The demonstrators marched through New Delhi to Parliament House last Thursday, although they met opposition from police according to .

The teachers were also demanding among other things, training and permanent contracts for the thousands of temporary teachers, a headteacher for every school and the restoration of the teachers’ pension schemes – for new teachers there is no pension provision. Teachers’ pay is very low in India and the abolition of the pension scheme for new teachers makes it an even more difficult career choice for educated young people, when they can earn much more by working in call centres helping people in the North with their computer problems and bank accounts.

At the centre of the teachers’ demands was the implementation of the Common School System – so that all children really do have a right to free and well-funded education.