Dr. Ngirente explains ban on phones in schools

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 3 December 2019 at 05:01

Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente has warned that much as Rwanda is gaining in the use of technology, allowing primary and secondary school students to own phones and to have access to them at any given time would be a great distraction.

The prime minister sounded the warning Monday, as he presented the government’s ICT activities in line with facilitating a knowledge-based economy before a joint session composed of members of both chambers of parliament.

Among the achievements he identified are; easy internet access throughout the country, ICT in the education system, e-government, among others.

Dr. Ngirente said that internet access in secondary schools is at 52% and100 % in universities.

Members of both chambers of parliament had earlier raised a concern about the low access to in secondary schools compared to universities.

One Member of Parliament, Gloriose Uwanyirigira asked about the state of studies in schools where the internet has not reached yet; concerned that if the issue is not addressed, it would hinder the quality of education.

Another MP John Ruku Rwabyoma said that to optimise returns on investmnet in the internet, every student should be allowed to have a telephone handset at school.

“We should give them that liberty, avoiding those cases of student dismissal because they were found with a phone device, it is a tool to help them not a problem to be fixed,” he urged
.
In response, Dr. Ngirente emphasized that denying students the right to possess phone devices and access them whenever they want during school time was decided for their own good, to allow them to concentrate on their studies.

“We know cases of children who get home with homework and fail to do it because they have been watching TV. Their parents have to first turn off those devices so the child is able to do their homework. As a country too, it is our duty to look for these children benefits, just like their parents,” added the premier.

In June last year, the Ministry of Education banned phones for students in nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Dr. Ngirente emphasized that denying students the right to possess phone devices and access them whenever they want during school time was decided for their own good
Members of both chambers of parliament had earlier raised a concern about the low access to in secondary schools compared to universities.

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