Teachers in Tunisia went on strike again last week after a two day strike at the end of last month. The original strike was against the government's failure to implement the undertakings it made after strikes by secondary and primary teachers last year, including a pay increase to go some way towards compensating for massive price increases in the country. The teachers are also demanding that schools should be made safe and that the curriculum, which still dates from the period of the dictatorship under Ben Ali, be changed. The government went on to exacerbate the situation by deducting two days pay from the striking teachers, without negotiation. As a result the strike was resumed last week.

Tunisia has been run by an interim government since the revolution which toppled Ben Ali. This government has consolidated its power and, under the tutelage of the International Monetary Fund and the French government, has made savage cuts as well as pursuing policies which have raised prices such as increasing sales taxes.. At present there is a presidential election happening but as yet with no result.

Meanwhile, the French education minister has visited the country to negotiate a 'Euro-Mediterranean skills recognition framework for developing mobility and increasing the employability of young people in sectors such as aeronautic and auto mobile maintenance and mechanics'.   So, far from education being democratised as a result of the uprising in 2011, it looks as though it is being changed to suit the needs of corporations who want to profit from the cheaper labour in the country. Moreover increasing privatisation in education has led to a two tier system with an underfunded public sector, where class sizes, typically of 60 - 70 are getting ever larger.

To read more background on the situation in Tunisia go here