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Egyptian schoolboy beaten to death by teacher

Anger as teacher and school's head teacher suspended after 12-year-old pupil dies following beating during class
A boy sells vegetables at a market of the town of Shebin Kanater, north of Cairo, on Feb 14, 2015. (AFP)

An Egyptian teacher at an elementary school in Cairo is alleged to have beaten a 12-year-old pupil to death.

The child, Islam Sharif, collapsed after a teacher at the Martyrs of Port Said school struck him over the head with a cane, the boy's parents were informed by his classmates.

A post-mortem report showed that the child had head injuries and suffered a brain haemorrhage, forensics department chief Hisham Abdel Hamid told AFP.

The teacher has been suspended, according to Egypt's education ministry, which said an inquiry has been launched.

Corporal punishment is common in Egyptian schools, where official negligence has been blamed for the deaths in late 2014 of two children in accidents because of badly maintained school equipment.

After the ministry’s announcement dozens of people gathered outside a hospital in central Cairo to wait for the boy’s body to be released for burial.

Speaking to the Egyptian press, the boy’s father complained that the education minister had failed to offer his condolences.

“He thinks he is the master and we are slaves,” Sharif Jamal told popular Egyptian satellite channel MBC.

News of Sharif’s death resonated with many in Egypt, where reported child abuse cases are rampant.

Translation: The death of Islam Sharif after a beating from his teachers has rocked Egypt - people are demanding an end to the phenomenon of violence inside schools #Egypt

Between January 2014 and the end of October, attacks on children increased by 55 percent compared with the average over the previous three years, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood said in December.

It said 50 percent of the cases of violence against children were registered in schools.

In September, the director of a Cairo orphanage was sentenced to three years in jail for assaulting minors.

Video footage posted on the Internet show him beating children, who run away screaming.