A teacher has been accused of hitting a primary school student and breaking her finger for not doing her homework.
The father of Manar Refaat, a student at Khaled Ebn El-Waleed primary school in the village of Armant, Luxor, filed a complaint with the local education authority, accusing Enayat Abu El-Magd of breaking his daughter’s finger for not doing her assigned homework.
Abu El-Magd claimed the student’s father had fabricated the issue. She added the student’s finger was broken before the incident and several of her colleagues and pupils are witnesses to this.
According to Manar, she was absent from school for a few days because she was ill. When she returned, “Miss Enayat insulted my family and hit me with a wooden stick until she broke my finger, and she didn’t stop until other children begged her.”
Zakariya Abdel Fattah, first under secretary of the Ministry of Education in Luxor, confirmed Abu El-Magd has been referred to the legal affairs department for investigations.
Mervat El-Tellawy, president of the National Council for Women (NCW), said the teacher’s action was a violation of children’s rights. She said NCW would provide legal assistance to Manar’s family.
Recently, another teacher in Luxor, Eman Abou Bakr, received a 6 month suspended sentence for cutting the hair of two 12-year old students for not wearing the veil.
Malek Adly, human rights lawyer, asserted that such incidents happen all the time in Egypt’s schools. He added after the 25 January revolution people became more aware of their rights, and have started objecting to such violations.
Adly claimed that having more religious extremists in the educational system, worsened intolerance in the classroom. He added he thought the educational system was outdated and corrupt, lacking transparency and accountability for teachers.
“We asked the minister of education to prevent teachers from hitting students, but we received a surprising reply, when he declared that as long as the punishment is not painful it would be acceptable,” concluded Adly.