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Teachers also banned from using cellphones in schools

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MBABANE – Wilson Ntshangase, Minister of Education and Training, has not only prohibited pupils from using cellphones in schools, the teachers too.

The minister yesterday said teachers who had the tendency of attending to their cellphones in the middle of lessons should desist from it because it was disruptive, not just to themselves but to pupils as well.

Ntshangase on Wednesday this week said the reason why some schools performed poorly in exams was because of pupil’s uncontrolled use of cellphones even during school hours. Pupils log on to facebook thus lose focus on school work. However, a person who did not want to mention their identity called this newspaper yesterday to say pupils should not be the only ones banned from using cellphones in class because some teachers also did the same.

The minister, in response said: "It is my proposal to teachers across the country that they switch-off their phones during class time. They can only use them in the staffroom or outside of class," he said. The minister felt that it was futile to discourage pupils from using cellphones in class if the teachers still freely did so. He said their capacity as teacher meant they had to be good role models’.He also called upon all headteachers to ensure that teachers did not use their phones during lessons.

Charles Bennet, President of the Swaziland School Headteachers Association (SSHA), said as far as he was concerned, teachers were indeed not allowed to use their mobile phones in the middle of class.

"It’s not supposed to happen, even though we are not always monitoring teachers during working hours. A teacher should at least put the phone on silent or switch it off completely," he said.

He also said as for his school, Manzini Central High, pupils did not use cellphones – they are prohibited.

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