Rights Center Holds MOE Officials Responsible For Student Killing
Rights Center Holds MOE Officials Responsible For Student Killing
Sunday, November 2,2008 03:48
By Mostafa Radwan

The Development and Human Rights Center for Peace Maat held the Ministry of Education officials in Egypt responsible criminally and politically for the student Islam"s killing at the hands of a primary teacher in Alexandria.  The Center also expressed its deep disappointment and worry over the future of children in Egypt who are exposed daily to the violence and blackmailing of teachers of the Ministry of Education.

The student Islam was beaten at the hands of his 23-year old math teacher during the school day in front of his colleagues who were in tears and who"d received their dosage of beating. According to a narration by Islam"s colleagues published in the papers, the center explained that the teacher used abnormal methods of punishment such as laying the student on the ground and kicking him with his foot in sensitive parts.  The center also asserted that this incident is new evidence of the presence of violence inside public schools despite the banning of beating as a punishment method by the former and current Minister of Education as it is considered a form of blackmailing students and their guardians to take private lessons with them.

The center added that the incident raises questions about how the Ministry of Education selects its teachers and how colleges of Education select their students without examining applicants" backgrounds and social behavior, and their possible influence on youth.  The center also warned against counter-violence which could be difficult to face in the future pointing out that many school incidents indicate the presence of serious tension in teacher-student relations.

The center referred to another incident where a teacher in one of the primary schools in Gharbiyyah beat 15 students causing fractures and injuries in their bodies as a punishment to them for not offering him the "health biscuit" offered by the government to students in public schools, a matter which indicates the extent of teachers" poverty level and low salaries, hence their low socio-economic status and the deterioration of their behavior to this extent.

The Center further called for honest investigations into the case of Islam, the victim of corruption in public education, in a way that would deter the accused teacher to the utmost level.  The center also condemned the silence of women and child councils on the phenomenon of violence against students in schools as well as the absence of the Teachers Syndicate role in monitoring its members or even protecting them against transgression against themselves and others.  Moreover, the center condemned the government"s ignoring the criminalization of private lessons despite its criminalization by Egyptian and International law, and according to the International Agreement on Combating Corruption approved by the Egyptian government on 2007.

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