Kenya bans use of mobile phones in schools

October 2, 2008 • Mobile and Telecoms

KENYA has banned use of cell phones in schools as one way to contain scholars’ rioting, which hit the country over second weekend of July. Kenyan scholars went on rampage over alleged maladministration, incompetent staff and poor supervision, which students claim to be barrier to learners staying in school’s residences.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri ordered for removal of music systems and DVDs from school buses, among other tough new measures aimed at restoring discipline in boarding schools. “I am banning the use of mobile phones by our students in our schools,” Mr Ongeri told Parliament. Mr Ongeri also directed schools to stop buying luxury buses with TVs and powerful music systems, urging schools to hand over to police students who either organised or took part in the violence. Speaking in parliament, education minister described the spate of strikes as a matter of national concern and told MPs that his ministry had developed manuals on safety and peace in education.

The minister had singled out political interference in schools’ administration and mismanagement as other causes of chaos in Kenya education. He asked school administrators to assess damages and forward information to the Ministry of Education headquarters. The ban, which takes effect immediately, comes a day after police charged dozens of students with arson and inciting violence after the mid-July weekend riots that left at least one student dead and several injured as scholars torched buildings and destroyed property.

Although the minister is imposing tough measures on scholars to curb strikes, another report said students of one of the schools in central Kenya went on the rampage, burning a dormitory. Furious politicians, parents and teachers angered by the ongoing unrest are now calling for the reinstatement of canning (whipping) as a form of discipline in schools which was officially abolished in Kenya seven years ago.

A Member of Parliament, Mr David Koech, attributed strikes to delays by ministry to disburse funds for free secondary education, while also seeking clarification a number of teachers handling guidance and counseling in schools, to deal with situations like current education crisis. More than 300 secondary schools have gone on strike in Kenya over the past month, while students have destroyed properties worth millions of shillings as they protest against poor living conditions and bad management. Kenya introduced a free secondary schooling education programme with a target of raising student enrolment to 1.4 million by end of the year after having been alarmed by high number of primary leaving students following introduction of universal free primary education in 2002.

African echo



2 Responses to Kenya bans use of mobile phones in schools

  1. Econyu Stephen says:

    come on guys’

    its to my dismay that even in the 21st century of Information Age, where technology is the key to effective learning and practice such are still happening. let the students be allowed to use those gargets for academic purposes.this shall help bridge the gaps between the info-rich and info-poor.



  2. Naturinda Dalton says:

    Iam a deputy headteacher of a school from western uganda. After studying the problem of mobile phone use in School,we decided to allow students keep mobile phones.Students are however not allowed to bring them to class or use them in the Library.You simply cannot impede technological advances,in anycase, students will simply use phones under cover-turning them into deliquents? Why not follow adage:If you cant beat them,join them. Join them- but regulate how and when phones can be used in School.Now some students are asking to bring their laptops into secondary Schools, for how long shall we resist this push? Must it be cause of strikes? These are mere historical developements,lets not fear to be swept by technology tide rather we should move with the tide.

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