Wrath of Syrian Web users puts abusive teachers in the spotlight

An amateur video showing the physical abuse suffered by pupils at the hands of their teachers is causing such a stir on the Syrian web that a Facebook group was created to find and identify the teachers, and the Minister of Education was forced to order an investigation.

These images show schoolteachers hitting their pupils on their hands and then on their feet with a ruler. One of them even asks the other pupils to help her hold her victims still.

On Friday the Minister of Education stated that the two women who appeared in this video had been identified and suspended. The abuse took place in the village of Essafira, in the department of Alep.

Warning: these images may be considered disturbing

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"The two schoolteachers let themselves be filmed because for them, this is normal behaviour"

Bassam Alkadi is the director of the Syrian Women's Observatory, an organisation which campaigns against violence directed at women and children in Syria.

This video reveals the violence that our children are subjected to on a daily basis here in Syria. Teachers and school principals do not believe in teaching without violence. Of course, what we see in this video is exceptional as it’s particularly violent. But everyday children are victim to insults, slaps on the head, blows on their hands using rulers, or they are obliged to remain standing for hours on end…These forms of violence exist in both private and state schools. It is only in several posh schools that we don’t find any violence, as these are the children of important people who pay for a certain level of comfort.

This violence doesn’t shock anybody. In the video, we can see that the two teachers let themselves be filmed because for them, this is normal behaviour. They don’t do it on the sly.

Nor do the parents of the pupils complain very often. They are afraid that their children will be punished if they complain. They know that the teachers always stick together whenever there is a problem.

It is for this reason that, in my opinion, it is not enough to find these women and punish them - searching for them and identifying them is a perfectly normal response. But it is the entire school system that should be scrutinised. If the state doesn’t address the roots of the problem, it will never go away. Most importantly, the teaching body needs training to understand the long-term consequences of corporal punishment on children.

The Minister of Education should speak to the children subjected to such violence in school, maybe even through school textbooks. They have to be told their rights. They must be told that the teacher is there to educate them, but emphasise that he or she is neither a saviour nor an executioner.

This post was written with Hasnae Malih, a France 24 journalist.

Comments

"Does the West truly

"Does the West truly understand the ideology of Sharia and the teachings of the Koran?"

We understand its effects.

mostly in middle east

mostly in middle east country i work,,i saw children of 5 yrs old above is very violent,,,,so they got it from home to school,they recieved the same treatment,what they experienced,what they got they do the same,,,..this teatment should be stop ..but what can we do,,,if thier folks and govt,tolerate it,,this is unhuman,,,animalism,,,,those country concern ..wake up,,,we are not in stone age,,,,realy they practice this in some arab countries,,,,i can say coz i work thier for 12 years ,,,

beating students

This video sickens me. How can these children learn when the room is full of crying students? It would be very hard to pay attention when you are in pain. The fear of being abused again would also make it hard to pay attention. This pratice should be stopped. The teachers should learn less abusive ways to get their students to do the required work.

If this is normal behavior

If this is normal behavior for these teachers in this country, then doesn't that say something about these sort of countries. This is in human and should be tolerated by the rest of the world, something should be done to stop it, no wonder their kids grow up to be the monsters they have. Its absolutely appalling behavior, and nothing these kids did deserves this kind of punishment.

Not New

This video made me to remember my school days in Nigeria especially with my teachers Mr. Adeyemi. During my school days I was one of the the dullest pupils in class because I don't want to learn and my dream is to become future Nigeria "Okocha" but a lot of beating and punishment I receive from Mr. Adeyemi made me to concentrated on my studies and after all I was able to finish both my primary and secondary school education with good grades now I am 2ND year student of psychology at MRUNI Vilnius. I will never forget Mr. Adeyemi for his canning, slapping and punching. Mr. Adeyemi is my role model.

Hello, I am glad you were

Hello, I am glad you were able to finish school and proceed to college. But does this mean that if you become a teacher you will hit and slap your students too? Your teacher could've found a million other ways to encourage you to finish school without violence. There are many positive ways we can encourage students to finish school and violence and hitting and slapping is NOT one of them. I too graduated and got my master's and i have never been hit by a teacher! I did it with the positive enforcement of my teachers. None of my classmates, even the most dull lazy ones, have never been hit, yet they all graduated and got jobs! So hitting is not the key or a successful measurement in any way.

I work at a nonprofit now in Jordan and we try so many positive ways to get children to go back to school and graduate. We do it with positive communication and never ever use or encourage any kind of violence.

We even have employees who took out their children from schools because they don't want their children to be abused like they were. So one employee for example would rather have his kids be illiterate, than having them scarred in the arm because a teacher put off a cigarette in their arms, like what happened to him years ago.

So i beg you, and all people who went through violence, to think of other ways that encouraged you to finish school and NOT VIOLENCE. Please, you are the people who went through the experience and you should not praise it and consider violent teachers as role models. There might be other traits that you liked in Mr. Adeyemi but it is okay to say i liked everything about him EXCEPT his violence. If we accept hitting and slapping as a way of learning then we'll never get out of this loop. As a social worker, this breaks my heart. Please don't let violence be a reason for your success.

Thank you for sharing

I cant believe this ; this

I cant believe this ; this made me cry I cant believe anyone could let this continue to happen this needs to be stop they wonder why there is so much violence well set by example look and you shall see this is just sad these children are going to grow up doing the same to their children if they are not already doing so because they think it is ok you wonder why they dont want to go to school well I think the teachers need to be in place of the children get a little feel of what the torment these children go through during the feeling of being petrified just absolutely appalling...

We say we want a better world for our children well we need to start with our children and this is not the way to start this is how you start violent behavior to get the reverse effects you need positive behavior otherwise expect it to go down the drain and be pointless... Sad appalling and unjust 44

its good behaviour

i`m agree with this practise,sometimes you need just to beat three or fourth times like this teacher and then your children or studemnts became more ordored.
This is the most problem in europe now,you can beat the children there, no method of punishments are available and then when the teenagers became violent we are suprise.
it`s a great method

m.s.c.

ma si puo essere cosi crudeli verso questi bambini a tratarli cosi guarda io li farei piangere il giorno che nata la maestra odio i maltratamenti verso i bambini .non fatela passare liscia a quelle maestre. by morris69.

Opposite extremes

I don't condone this behaviour at all. What could that many children have done that would warrant that sort of punishment? But the opposite extreme in Britain is that teachers have absolutely no form of censure available to them and subsequently are often at significant risk from their pupils.

I left Britain partly because schools are becoming too violent ... but it's the children that are violent not the teachers!

There needs to be an equitable middle ground somewhere.

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