More teachers have been killed in an attack in Northern Nigeria according to news reports. The bombers targeted a government office in Zaria, where primary school teachers and other public sector workers wee undergoing screening.

These are just the latest deaths of teachers in Nigeria, where the group Bako Haram are attacking schools and killing and abducting teachers and pupils. Similar dangers are faced by teachers in North East Kenya, from the group Al Shabaab. Governments in both countries have done almost nothing to improve security. The President of Nigeria has warned people in Zaria to 'be vigilant and avoid crowded places.' Apparently the government has increased security at mosques and churches, but there is no word about schools.

Only yesterday, we were reporting that teachers in another part of Nigeria were being forced to buy laptops out of their meager earnings. Moreover teachers in a dangerous Northern Province were unpaid for eleven months. Not only do schools and teachers in Nigeria, Kenya and many other places, particularly in the global South not get a living wage, they sometimes have to work in fear for their own lives and those of their pupils. 

The abduction of 200 girls last year caused global outrage and interest, with prime ministers and presidents posing with signs saying #BringBackOurGirls, however the caravan has moved on and meanwhile both before and after that event, children and teachers continue to suffer at the hands of violent armed groups and a government which either cannot or will not stop them. Ironically not long after the abduction, the World Economic Forum met in the capital Abuja, amid unprecendented security, including the closing of all schools and government officers.

Such security is not available to the teachers and children of Northern Nigeria. And of course the problem has causes far deeper than a mere lack of security. Nigeria is a country which is being laid waste by global corporations like Shell and BP as they extract its rich natural resources, enriching a small elite, including the political class, and impoverishing the majority of the population. Until such fundemental economic, political and social inequity is righted, armed groups like Boko Haram will continue to thrive and recruit among youth who see no future.

Meanwhile the underpaid and undervalued teachers and their students continue to work in these dreadful circumstances. We can only send them our solidarity and deep fellow feeling.