The use of personal electronic devices has been banned in schools, the head of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Education and Science, Rahim Saidzoda has said in an interview with Omuzgor.
“We have made significant efforts to prevent students from using electronic copies [of materials] while they are in school. We have nearly finished supplying the necessary number of [physical] books to schools. Students were permitted to use electronics in class until recently – this was because of a lack of textbooks. Presently, the circumstances have changed; funds are sufficient, and the books have been published,” the minister stated.
Another reason for the ban is that parents frequently protested that their childrens’ phones were taken away from them at during random searches at some schools, and that some administrators were even demanding payment in exchange for returning the device.
Teachers and parents appear split on the issue. The first group feels that gadgets keep kids from studying and they haven’t figured out how to use these devices for learning; the second, on the other hand, feels that new technologies need to be introduced in order to stay up to date.
A look at how the issue is handled in Kazakhstan – where children are banned by law from using phones in class – may shed light on the issue. In Kazakhstan, if the school has special boxes, children leave their devices in there, and if not, they are to remain in the children’s backpacks. The Deputy Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, Natalya Jumadildayeva, said she agrees with parents in Tajikistan who believe that use of electronic devices during classes will lower the results of both those using them, and their distracted classmates.