nigblog.jpg  An earlier Demonstration by Nigerian Teachers The Nigerian National Union of Teachers (NUT) are taking strike action again to secure the pay rise promised to them in August 2008 The NUT finally came to an agreement with the state governors in 2008 for a 27.5% pay rise after the national government refused to set a rate. They were fighting for professional status and much improved salaries - so the 27.5% agreement was a disappointment. When the state governors refused to implement even this agreement last January - the teachers went on strike again. As a result of this, state governors agreed to honour the increase but even then 19 states failed to pay it. So primary and secondary teachers in all those states are now on strike again. Teachers in Nigeria are some of the worst paid professionals in the country - the highest paid earn about $100 per month. Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of oil in the world. Global corporations like British Petroleum are reaping huge profits from its oilfields (and incidentally causing havoc with the environment and the social structure in the oil filelds) from which the Nigerian government gets a small percentage in revenues. The IMF have locked Nigeria into a package of 'market based reform'. To quote the CIA Fact File: 'Since 2008 the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands' - presumably like those of the teachers who are struggling by on a couple of dollars a day! Included in the IMF package also is the privatisation of the four government owned oil refineries. In other words - the West and the multinational coprorations are coining billions of dollars which rightfully belong to the people of Nigeria. Meanwhile in education in Nigeria - the reputation of state schools suffers with parents as some demoralised teachers are forced to do other jobs as well as teaching just in order to make ends meet. As in many other countries - including rich countries like the UK there is a two tier system with many parents scraping together the money for private education while the poorest children go to the publicly funded schools. The teachers in the state system are struggling to educate children as often as not under trees in rural areas and in urban areas in buildings that are so dilapidated that children being crushed by schools walls falling on top of them - particularly in the rainy season - is an annual occurence. As often as not the children have to sit on the floor. Meanwhile the brave teachers in the public school system in Nigeria are on strike again to defend their jobs, their professionalism and education for the children of Nigeria.