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Cairo teacher to face trial over pupil death

A teacher at a school in Sayeda Zeinab is accused of killing a schoolboy by striking him on the head with a baton

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Mar 2015
A girl writes on the blackboard
A girl writes on the blackboard (Photo: Reuters)
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A teacher accused of beating a primary school student to death was referred to a criminal court on Wednesday, a few days after his detention pending investigation.

The teacher allegedly hit the boy on the head with a baton, causing the fifth-grade student to lose consciousness before he died in a hospital.

A forensic report confirmed the victim died due to a brain hemorrhage.

According to testimonies from other students at Al-Shuhada Elementary School in the working-class Cairo district of Sayeda Zeinab, the public school where the incident took place, the teacher beat the victim because he had talked in class.

While testifying before prosecutors, other students said the teacher beat them with a baton on a regular basis, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

During interrogation by prosecutors, however, the teacher denied assaulting the victim.

The defendant will remain in detention pending trial after being officially charged with beating the student to death.

Education Minister Moheb El-Rafie has ordered the temporary closure of Al-Shuhada Elementary School until prosecutors conclude their investigations.

El-Rafie was appointed in a ministerial reshuffle earlier this month.

According to studies, cases of abuse are common in Egypt’s public schools, where teachers, who are usually low-paid, lack proper supervision.

In 2008, a math teacher in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria killed an elementary school student by kicking him in the chest. He was sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter.

An amendment to several provisions of the Child Act of 2008 mandated the protection of children “from violent acts and physical and emotional abuse.” A ministerial decree in 1998 prohibited corporal punishment and physical assault against students in all its forms.

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