The Sharjah Educational Zone has decided to ban pupils in Sharjah schools from bringing mobile phones to school.
"Mobile phones will be banned with immediate effect across all schools in Sharjah," Saeed Misbah Al Kaabi, Director of Sharjah Educational Zone, told Gulf News.
A circular has been issued informing schools of the decision, he said.
Schools have been asked to confiscate mobile phones and tablet computers brought to school by pupils.
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Schools have also been instructed to take steps to enforce the decision. "There is widespread use of mobile phones among pupils now and we have received several complaints regarding this." Al Kaabi urged teachers to keep their phones switched off during school hours.
Abraham Mathew, Vice-Principal at Emirates National School in Sharjah, said: "It is a great decision. An increasing number of children are bringing phones to school and there are more and more incidents involving misuse being reported."
They have had complaints involving pictures taken with the mobile phones posted on social networking sites, he added.
Dr Aninda Chatterji, Principal of Our Own English High School, Sharjah, said that the school already has a ban on the use of mobile phones by pupils. "In general, use of mobile phones is a major issue now. It could potentially cause a lot of problems and distract the children, which is why we do not allow it."
Ameena Mahma Kang, an education ministry official and a mother of three, said that invasion of privacy is one of the biggest issues when mobile phones are used in school. "Some children take pictures and post them online."