Tajikistan bans cell phones from schools

Tajik children sit during the school lesson in the village Surhak Chashma some 35 km from Dushanbe, October 23, 2001. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

DUSHANBE (Reuters) - The Central Asian state of Tajikistan Tuesday banned cell phones from all schools and universities in a bid to boost education.

“This measure has been taken in order to improve the quality of teaching at schools,” deputy Dodikhudo Saimutdinov said after a vote in parliament.

Offenders, including those who carry phones without using them, will be fined.

Although Tajikistan is considered Central Asia’s poorest nation, 3.2 million out of 7 million Tajiks use cell phones.

President Imomali Rakhmon has earlier introduced uniforms at schools and universities and barred students from going to schools in their own cars.

Reporting by Roman Kozhevnikov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov