Teachers in the state of Nagaland in India have been on strike over the failure or the government to pay them for six months. Despite negotiations with the state government the teachers still remain without pay.

Nagaland is a mountainous, tribal state in the North East of India, and many of the striking teachers had come from remote areas to join the protest. Moreover many of the unpaid teachers are running schools single-handed. 

The teachers boycotted classes for two weeks and then stepped up their protest by preventing employees from entering the Department of Education offices. At this point, the teachers, many of whom were there with their children, were attacked by security forces with water cannon.

The striking teachers, ironically enough, are employed by the Indian Project SSA or Education For All. Needless to say, teachers are blamed for the failure to deliver quality education for all children. It would be good if the politicians and worthies at organisations like the World Bank who promoted SSA, could explain how teachers are supposed to work unpaid. As the banners on the protest, which continued despite the police attacks, put it: ‘Pay your teachers and then talk of quality education’; ‘A big hand of the government behind students’ failure’; ‘No scheme of education can be successful without teachers.’