Wooden Paddle- CC via upnorthlive.com
CAIRO – 2 August 2018: A teacher was referred to urgent trial as a result of causing a “permanent disability” to one of the students in the second grade of his primary school in Assiut governorate.
The incident was reported by the school’s principal on Nov. 20, 2017. He issued a formal complaint against the teacher accusing him of hurting one of the school’s children and causing him a permanent disability. According to the complaint, the teacher hit the child with a wooden stick in the eye as the teacher was waving it around carelessly inside the class. Accordingly, the child’s eye was severely damaged and after accurate medical examination, the child’s eye was diagnosed with losing the capability of sight and bearing light.
Egypt’s Administrative Prosecution began investigating the incident and ordered the teacher’s referal to an urgent trial. The school’s principal as well was referred to the disciplinary committee for reporting the incident late.
In August 2017, a teacher at a mixed primary school in Kafr Ghatati, Giza, appeared in a video beating a sixth grade student severely. 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.
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 teachers being paid minimum wage promotes violence.
Several similar incidents previously took place; 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.