sheekhahunger2.jpg  SSA Teachers on Hunger Strike Last Year Teachers in many parts of India are struggling to improve their pay and conditions In Pune temporary teachers are demanding to be put on permanent contracts - some have been employed as so-called 'contract' teachers for as many as 17 years. The use of temporary contracts is encouraged by the World Bank which sees teachers' salaries as one of the main blocks to increasing enrollment in schools. Meanwhile the World Bank programme SSA (Education for All) is apparently responsible for forcing teachers of many years' service  to reapply for their jobs in the Gujarat province. The teachers are responsible for the education of 50,000 disabled children  - yet they have not been paid for the last 14 months because of the SSA ruling. They are challenging the new recruitment process in the courts and say that the education of some of the most vulnerable children in Gujarat is being disrupted. In Burdwan province over 1,400 primary teachers have not been paid since January even the meagre salary which they are entitled to - approximately $260 a month. The excuse given by the state government is that its employees has been too busy with the national census which is being compiled in India at the moment. The irony is that it is the teachers who are expected to do much of the census work and in Pune many teachers are refusing to do the extra work which would involve talking to 1500 - 2000 people each as well as carrying on with their normal duties. According to leading education academics in India the World Bank through its SSA programme is having a malign influence on Indian education - cutting it down to the lowest common denominator of basic skills and forcing to teachers to spend hours compiling statistics, carrying out bureaucratic tasks and testing children. (see previous post). Teachersolidarity would like to hear from any teachers in India involved in struggles - either post a comment or contact mary@teachersolidarity.com