With First Minister Jack McConnell in Malawi this week, a salutary reminder about African school realities has come our way.
A reader who visits regularly asks us to spare a thought for teachers in Dukuduku Forest in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. There, Engweni primary school staff have their own little monkeys to deal with - as well as cobras and green mambas.
"You can't leave your teaching aids in the class because the monkeys run in and destroy everything," despairing head Anastacia Mhlongo told the local Mercury. "They steal our lunchboxes or play on the roofs while we are trying to give lessons."
So, while teachers might moan and groan about what they have to cope with in schools nowadays, we hope this helps them put things in perspective.