Across Egypt, teacher-student violence

A rash of teacher-on-student violence has blighted Egypt’s schools over the past weeks, a month after newly appointed Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr told the Shura Council that preventing school teachers from beating students as a form of punishment would leave teachers vulnerable to attack.

At a Cairo private school, an engineer accused a teacher of physically assaulting his son, a third year preparatory school student, with a wooden stick. The teacher’s beating caused the pupil severe bruises on his chest and swelling in both arms, the father said. The father filed a police report and the prosecution referred the teacher for interrogation.

Mervat Hassan, the student’s mother, said that her son, Abdel Rahman, 14, asked the teacher to let him go to the bathroom. While the boy was out, the teacher decided to punish the other students for making noise. When Abdel Rahman returned to class, the teacher ordered him to stand up next to his colleagues for punishment. The boy argued that he had not been present during the misbehavior and should not be punished. His protest sent the teacher into a rage.

In Naga Hammadi, Qena Governorate, a teacher beat another student for refusing to help clean the schoolyard. Investigations by Mohamed el-Abboudi, head of the criminal investigations administration, found that the assault resulted in scratches and bruises on the boy’s back. Khodari Ali, undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, declared that the teacher had been referred to the legal affairs office at the city’s education department for interrogation.

At the Port Fouad Secondary Military School in Port Fouad, Port Said, Ashraf Ibrahim Ibrahim, a teacher, accused a student of physically attacking him in front of his colleagues. Ibrahim said he was in charge of keeping students from entering the schoolyard. When one boy didn’t obey, Ibrahim went to tell off the student, at which point Ibrahim was punched in the chest. The student was dragged to the headmaster’s office, where he punched the teacher again.

In Fayoum, the education directorate concluded its investigation into the case of a teacher who was accused of slapping a student on the head. The directorate decided to transfer the teacher to another school and deduct 15 days’ pay from his salary.

Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr has been criticized by human rights groups for promoting violence against students. In February a math teacher reportedly broke a student’s arm after he was unable to solve a difficult equation.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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