As we reported at the beginning of this month, teachers in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan are at the sharp end of education 'reform' but have been fighting back determinedly. 

The latest protests last Wednesday, which were demanding the resignation of the education secretary, were met by police firing tear gas, water cannon and baton charging. Several teachers were injured and others detained, amongst them the leader of the primary teachers assoication Liaquat Deedar, who suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital. As an opinion piece in the Daily Times put it, 'Instead of addressing their grievances, the authorities gave a free hand to the police to thrash our nation builders at will'.

Many teachers in the province have had their pay stopped, and thousands are still on temporary contracts. The government's response is a mixture of police brutality and an expressed desire to ban teaching unions, leading to the calls for the minister's resignation, who teachers' leaders say is anti-education.

Ironically at the same time as these protests and attacks were happening, a group of expensively dressed people were addressing a conference entitled, School of Tomorrow. At a session called: 'Government Schools, unlocking the potential' the speakers appear to have presented the public school sector as a failure and advocated privatisation as the solution. We would suggest that if the Sindh government want to unlock the potential of teachers, they might pay them a living wage and provide them with the tools and buildings necessary to do the job for which they are trained. Instead of that the state is sanctioning their brutalisation as they protest for their legitimate rights.