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Egyptian School Closed After Teacher Beats Student to Death

Egypt's education system has long been plagued with problems, and now, yet another case of student abuse has just emerged from an elementary school in Cairo, resulting in the death of a fifth grader.

Egyptian education woes continue as news emerged that a student was so badly beaten by his teacher at Cairo’s Al-Shuhada Elementary School that he succumbed to his injuries, dying three days later.

This disturbingly tragic situation unfolded on Thursday, when an unnamed fifth-grader at the public school in the working-class district of Sayeda Zeinab was allegedly beaten by his teacher. The battered student suffered a brain hemorrhage from the attack and was immediately transferred to hospital in an unconscious state. Tragically the young student succumbed to his injuries passing away on Sunday.

The newly appointed Education Minister Moheb El-Rafie, took action during the ugliest of circumstances, and swiftly ordered the temporary closure of Cairo’s Al-Shuhada Elementary School until the prosecution has concluded their investigation into the matter. The minister also suspended the teacher before remanding him to the prosecution for investigation.

According to Aswat Masriya news website, investigators were interrogating the teacher on charges of using excessive force, but with the news of the child’s death, he will now be facing charges of using excessive force resulting in death. As a result the prosecution decided to detain the teacher for another four days pending further investigation and forensic medical examination to determine the cause of death.

The sad truth is that even though a ministerial decree in 1998 prohibited any form of corporal punishment and physical assault against students, the beating of children is a common and disturbing occurrence ingrained in Egyptian society. Part of the reason is due to lack of teacher oversight and low wages, leaving teachers to take out their frustration on students either emotionally or physically. In 2008, a math teacher in Alexandria killed a student by kicking him in the chest, and was sentenced six years in prison for manslaughter.

Hopefully the investigation will come to a satisfactory conclusion and if guilty this teacher be made an example of, as there is no excuse for ever striking a child in or out of school let alone killing one.