Teachers in Togo are once again on the brink of strike action, in pursuit of their demands for proper funding for education and a living wage. School is due to restart in the country tomorrow, but recent reports suggest that the threatened strike by teachers may well be going ahead as the government failed to promise the necessary cash to improve education in the country. Teachers are asking for allowances for distance and living to supplement their meagre wages. Rural teachers often have to travel three or four hours each way just to collect their salaries. They are also demanding proper facility time for union activities.

Only last April, teachers struck for the same reason and were supported by pupils - two of whom were killed by the police during a protest. As we reported earlier this year, Togo has been under the tutelage of the IMF, which – in exchange for ‘debt’ relief has insisted on privatisation and public spending cuts. The country has extensive mineral resources, such as phosphates as well as agricultural land, and if these were used for the good of the people of Togo then there would be plenty of money for education. As it is 59% of the population live below the poverty line, as international finance through organisations like the IMF and the World bank ensures that foreign corporations like Premier African Minerals and the Weng Fu Group are able to make mega profits in the country. 

Teachers talking to the press insisted that it was not possible to teach if they are not given the means to do so.