In a village in Sindh province in Pakistan, the people are so determined to obtain education for their children that they have refused to allow them to be vaccinated for polio until a school is provided. For two years, their village school has been without a teacher, despite the fact that there are hundreds of children of primary school age. 

In typical fashion, the authorities claimed that a teacher had been appointed but was not working, however villagers say that is not true. It is interesting that the official imagined that one teacher would be enough for so many children, but that is a typical state of affairs in the province. Another official claimed that there were many primary schools which were 'not needed.'

Recently we have been reporting the appalling treatment of teachers in Sindh, who were attacked by police with tear gas and batons as they protested over legitimate grievances like having their pay stopped and not being on proper contracts. As one Sindh newspaper commented: 'Instead of addressing their grievances, the authorities gave a free hand to the police to thrash our nation builders at will'. 

Meanwhile in Punjab, the area which was 'reformed' by Pearson's education adviser, Michael Barber, the teachers union says that the handover of schools to NGOs through public private partnerships has worsened education without bringing any tangible benefits. On the contrary, the amount of subsidies spent on such partnerships are taking much needed funds away from public schools and 'running them into the ground.'