Damietta governor Manal Awad (L) grants Basmala Ali (R) flower bouquet - Press photo
CAIRO - 28 November 2018: The Education Ministry rejects all forms of discrimination, racism, and verbal and physical abuse from all parties, the Egyptian education minister said, condemning offensive remarks attributed to a teacher, where he described a teenager girl as "black".
Describing someone as "black" can sound offensive in many communities inside Egypt which includes locals and foreigners with various skin colors.
Minister of Education Tarek Shawki said that the ministry rejects any abuse carried out by a member of the educational entity, and will take legal measures against abusers. He added that this was what happened with the teacher who abused Basmala Ali, a student in one of Damietta's schools.
In an interview with "Kol Youm", on ON E, Shawki said that he sent an invitation to "the beautiful girl", referring to Basmala, to receive her in the ministry. "Concerning the teacher, we took the proper legal measures [against him]," the minister stated.
"I reiterate my invitation to the beautiful girl to come [to the ministry so that we can]review her opinion about education, and not to talk at all about things that annoy her," Shawki stated.
The Arabic language teacher accused of abusing Basmalawrote a phrase on the board saying "Basmala [Ali] is a black girl," according to the accusations. The phrase was apparently written as an exercise for students in an educational context.
The teacher denied the charge, saying that he described the girl as "dark-skinned" and not black. "How can I mock her brown skin [while] my skin is [also] brown," the teacher said to the General Prosecution, according to media reports.
The General Prosecution ordered the detention of the teacher in the Martyr Gamal Saber preparatory school for four days pending investigation. The educational directorate referred the teacher to investigation, and he was moved subsequently to another school following the incident.
Moreover, Damietta Governor Manal Awad headed to the school to meet with Basmala, where the governor gave the teenager a flower bouquet and made sure the teacher was moved from the school, according to media reports.
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