Demonstrating in Malawi Teachers in Malawi have joined the strike of civil sevants which has been ongoing since last week Teachers, who make up 70% of government employees joined the strike yesterday. The leadership of the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) had initially told them not to go on strike until more negotiations had taken place, leading to anger among many teachers. Teachers and other civil servants earn very little,  and that little is often paid late - making it virtually impossible to exist. A spokesperson for the Concerned Teachers of Malawi - a gorup leading the call for the teachers to join in the strike told the Nyasa Times: “We want to show that we are very much concerned with our own plight hence we are joining the strike. We receive little salary. They are peanuts and worse still we receive them very late. So joining the strike would be one way of telling the government that teachers also need their salaries increased with immediate effect.” Teachers in Malawi earn about $50 a month - a sum which has depreciated  in the last period due to inflation. This has been caused in large measure by what the World Bank refers to as 'tough but critical structural reforms' - a 50% devalulation of the currency followed by its flotation. Meanwhile the same World Bank is offering a $1,000,000 grant to an organisation which can monitor and report on the country's education sector, including on teacher absenteeism. Teachers in Malawi have to cope with claass sizes unimaginable in the North - over 100 pupils in a class is not uncommon and in appalling conditions. Not only that but they are expected to do this work on starvation salaries. It does not take a million dollar grant to work out that the first thing which is needed is to pay teachers properly and provide them and the children with decent conditions in which to work. Meanwhile, with the help of the World Bank - multi-national corporations are exploiting the rich uranium reserves in the country - unfortunately for the local people this has little result in poverty alleviation but much in terms of polluted water supplies.