Rwanda's cabinet has approved a ban on using mobile phones by pupils in primary and secondary schools to prevent disruptions in learning, Minister of Education Eugene Mutimura announced Thursday.
Briefing journalists in Kigali, Mutimura said the decision was approved by a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
"Cellphones disrupt proper learning and have various negative impacts on pupils," he said.
Breaching the directive would attract suspension for the first offender and indefinite suspension from school for repeated offense.
The minister appealed to school administrators to check students' bags when they are reporting to school and effectively enforce the ban.
Schools would be required to put in place public phones to enable pupils to communicate with their parents, he said.
Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari on the press briefing called on parents to support the ban, saying it is in the interest of pupils.
The ban would also protect pupils from cyberbullying, she said.