School Children in Madhya Pradesh
Teachers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are staging a token hunger strike on August 13th to be followed by an indefinite strike if their demands are not met
The teachers who are members of the Madhya Pradesh Shikshak Congress (MPSC) have 21 demands including an increase in pay and changes to the status and conditions of 'contract' teachers.
Their leader Ramnaresh Tripathy has said that conditions for teachers in the state are so bad that several have committed suicide. For example under a World Bank scheme for schools in remote areas called the Education Guarantee Scheme teachers are paid one sixth of the salary of their colleagues in government schools and are expected to survive on $20 per month. Amazingly the World Bank in their report on this scheme implies that the teachers acually work better because they are worse paid than their colleagues. The report states: 'It could be argued that since remuneration is high (sic!), regular teachers join the teaching profession because of the money rather than a committment to teaching.'