A screenshot from of the video showing a first-grade student crying in a classroom
Egypt's education ministry is investigating a video that went viral online showing a first-grade student crying in a classroom and pleading with his teacher to allow him to have some sleep, a ministry spokesman said.
The 30-second footage, which was shared online earlier this week, shows six-year-old Mohamed crying as he sits at his desk while begging his teacher to allow him to sleep for 15 minutes. The teacher reassured the child that he would be going home soon.
The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) said that the posting of the video online – which has resulted in some people mocking the child – amounts to "cyber bullying," while calling for a probe.
The NCCM has urged TV channels and social media users to stop broadcasting and sharing the video, which it says violates international children's rights.
Education ministry spokesman Ahmed Khairy said in TV comments late on Tuesday that the ministry is investigating the incident, and that it is taking "strict measures" against the use of cell phones and recording devices in schools.
The child's father said in statements to the media that his son has refused to go to school since the incident took place due to bullying he has been subjected to by classmates after the video went viral.
Late last month, the education ministry and NCCM launched Egypt's first national anti-bullying campaign to protect children from peer-to-peer physical and psychological violence, in cooperation with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative is funded by the European Union.
The campaign encourages children and young people across Egypt to share their experiences, views and thoughts on how to end bullying by using hashtag #IAmAgainstBullying.