Teachers in the Merangin province of Indonesia have been taking indefinite strike action since last Friday, fighting for the allowances which are owed to them. The government underpaid them for four months last year and the money has still not been reimbursed.

Although Indonesia is one of the G20 club of rich nations, education is clearly low down on their spending priorities. Teachers in the country are poorly paid and around 600,000 are on temporary contracts - such teachers can receive as little as 10% of a regular teacher's salary. Indonesian teachers fought to regularise temporary contracts in . Most contract teachers in Indonesia are not certified and have little chance of becoming so because a lack of money spent on teacher education. According to the leader of the teaching union, PGRI, “The Government is aware of what they are doing. The more teachers qualify and certify, the more they will have to pay. So they purposely slow the process down.”

There is a teacher shortage in the countryside which leads to pupil dropout and failure to enroll - less than 60% of children in low income districts attend school. To read more about the Indonesian education context go .