The government of Rwanda has banned use of mobile phones among students in primary and secondary school to fight distraction and protect them from the risks of human trafficking.
The Ministry of Gender and Family promotion is spearheading this campaign which was part of cabinet approved by cabinet this week.
According to this decision, students are advised to use mobile phones only when they are with their parents and should leave them at home when they go to school.
“You cannot teach a child who is chatting on social media and sending photos,” Esperance Nyirasafari, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion said on Thursday.
The Minister also said, mobile phones make it easy for criminals to access students. She gave an example of human traffickers who track someone via phone, and in most cases, young girls and boys are their victims.
“Most of human trafficking crimes are committed through phones. Traffickers direct their potential victims which direction to take until they get into their hands,” Nyirasafari said.
To deter students from using mobile phones, it was decided that a child who will be caught using a cell phone at school will be sent home to bring their parents.
The parents will be cautioned on directives on using phones and will have to write a joint commitment letter that the child won’t use it again.
“In case of repetition, the student will definitively be expelled,” Dr Eugene Mutimura, Minister of Education said.
According to the Minister of Local Government, Francis children’s distraction on the phone has reached alarming levels to the extent that most of them are in raod accidents caused by the phone.