EGYPT: Corporal punishment of students

According to the Egyptian Education Minister, “Teachers lose their authority when corporal punishment is banned.” If parents complain to the school, they are told “Do you want your child to learn or not?”

In the first part of the video, we see teachers hitting pupils. In the text that appears between the images, the teachers are compared with Hitler and Mussolini. “What do we learn from them? That brute force is the way to get things done”. In the second part of the video, we see pupils attacking a teacher, with the following comment: “If you teach them that violence prevails, this is what will happen.” A scene of police brutality is then added at the end of the video.

The Egyptian press reported on Feb. 23, that a math teacher broke the arm of one of his primary school pupilsThe subject has been a particularly sensitive one since an 11-year-old boy was beaten to death by his teacher for not doing his homework. The lawyer of the accused said that “beating a child in school is not illegal”, arguing that he had committed no crime. The teacher was however sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter.

There’s also a lack of control over teachers by the ministry. The primary concern of inspecting officers is to look out for teachers who criticise the government in front of pupils. There’s no law that bans corporal punishment, but a decree, signed by the former education minister, Hussein Kamel Baha Ed-dine. However, this could be revoked by the current minister, who’s certainly not opposed to corporal punishment. According to him, teachers have lost their authority since the decree was brought in.” OBSERVERS.france.24