CAIRO – 8 August 2017: A teacher at a mixed primary school in Kafr Ghatati, Giza, appeared in a video beating a sixth grade student severely on Wednesday.
According to one of his colleagues in the class, the boy was beaten for teasing one of his classmates, causing the teacher to resort to corporal punishment despite the boy crying.
This is not the teacher’s first; he hit a student on the head with a wooden stick previously, and he is also known for using threat with his students to force them to take private classes with him, according to the student.
Investigations will be conducted regarding the incident, confirmed the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education Elham Ibrahim; adding that legal measures will be taken if the incident is proven true.
Using physical violence as a punishment for school students when they disturb a class, forget their homework, or tease a colleague is widespread in Egypt, according to a study carried out in 2016 by UNICEF. More than 78 percent of children aged 17 in 2014 experienced bullying on a regular basis.
Many still think that beating is the best way to teach children discipline and better control hyperactivity in classes. In addition, the poor infrastructure in public schools and underpaid, unsupervised teachers promote violence.
Several incidents happened before, as in 2015 a 12-year-old died after being beaten by a teacher for not doing his homework. The student had head injuries and suffered from a brain hemorrhage, leading to his death.
Corporal punishment in schools is banned by 1998 ministerial decree 591, as teachers should use appropriate teaching methods with students.
In recent months, the Ministry of Education sent warning statements to schools across Egypt against the use of any kind of physical violence with students; and if any teacher violates that statement, he/she will be referred to investigations and will be suspended.
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