Many teachers in Pakistan are still having to engage in protest actions, hunger strikes and withdrawal of labour in order to fight for permanent contracts, a living wage and against pay deductions based on poor 'performance'. In Sindh Province, primary teachers have been on hunger strike for regularisation of their contracts and allowances due to them. Teachers in the same area are protesting about the failure to appoint almost 5000 college teachers, who had apparently been budgeted for but not appointed. The teachers say that the Province's education department is paralised and disfunctional, which they blame on widespread corruption.

Meanwhile in the Punjab area, teachers are threatening widescale protests in response to what the Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) describes as interference by 'foreign advisers' who, 'had played havoc with the primary education system of the province as they knew nothing about the basic issues regarding education system.' According to reports, teachers in the province have had their wages cut if their classes did badly in annual tests. Promotion could be barred for such teachers and heavy fines imposed. A spokesperson for the PTU said, '“If the government cannot award them better scales, it should not impose a cut on their salaries” and went on to appeal to the government to consult with teachers before bringing in new schemes.

Teachers blame many of the problems associated with education in the country on the fact that they are required to do a huge number of jobs which have nothing to do with their profession, such as promoting immunisation campaigns in the local community and being responsible for the census. As one primary teacher said, 'This is not what I signed up for when I took up teaching.' Not only is it an imposition on teachers, it also adversely affects the children's education since they are often left alone while teachers are forced to carry out other duties. This is one of the main reasons for the problem of so-called teacher absenteeism in Pakistan and the rest of South Asia, which is of course ignored in World Bank documents which blame teachers for low standards of education. 

Another major stumbling block is the turn to compulsory instruction in English, which according to the latest statements from the PTU is forcing students  'to flee from schools due to the fear of English medium'. For most of the children in low income areas, English is as much of a foreign language as Urdu would be to, for instance, a European heritage US child, yet they are increasingly being made to do all their learning in that language. With the interference of foreign advisers such as the UK's Sir Michael Barber, who was reportedly paid $7000 a day to advise the Pakistani government on education, it is perhaps not surprising that English should be promoted. After all Barber works for Pearson, the corporation which makes the largest profits from education materials in the world - so much more convenient to force the children to learn in its language than to produce materials in their own language.

Meanwhile the teachers of Pakistan are being punished by having their 'performance' judged, their pay cut and often being kept on temporary contracts, as they do their best to educate children under almost impossible circumstances.