Teachers in Pakistan are intrusive visits from education officers, while the basic necessities for schools to function are not provided by the government.

Teachers in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region told a teachers' day gathering last week that some of them are having to work in schools with three teachers for 800 children, with no basic facilities. Yet they are regularly being interrupted in their work by education officers quizzing them about their teaching methodology.

Education activists said that 2.5 million children in the region are out of school and that many schools lack washrooms, walls and most importantly teachers. Meanwhile the government are peddling the rhetoric of the importance of teachers to the future of the country.

Far from agreeing to the reasonable demands of the teachers for decent pay, more teachers and good working conditions for themselves and their students, the government representative at the event said that they were planning to bring in performance related pay based on exam results.

All over Pakistan, teachers are working for poverty pay, often on temporary contracts and sometimes not paid at all. Yet in this context, Pearson PLC's education adviser, Sir Michael Barber has been paid a daily rate of the equivalent of several years' teachers' pay to mete out the usual advice to government – that it is the poor quality of teaching which causes public schools to be less than good. And of course the usual prescription is written – for performance related pay, temporary contracts, mass data collection and scripted lessons – thus incidentally opening a profitable market for Pearson and other educorporations.

The rubbishing of teachers is something with which the profession is familiar globally, as are intrusive accountability measures. However for this teacher at least, the idea that such prescriptions should be handed out to teachers facing what are to me impossible odds instead of providing the kind of salaries, infrastructure and teacher numbers which are necessary, almost defies belief.

To read about the conditions in Pakistan's schools and the determined struggles of teachers to defend and improve public education go .