Philippine education minister backs mobile phone ban in schools

Manila - The Philippines' education minister Monday expressed support for a proposed law totally banning mobile telephones in schools nationwide. 

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said a total ban on mobile phones would help students concentrate more on their studies. 

"We favour the total ban of cellular phones in schools," he said. "It distracts students, especially as they are inclined to play games using their cellular phones." 

Lapus said many schools in the Philippines already banned the use of mobile phones inside classrooms, but they still allowed students to bring the gadgets inside campuses. 

The total ban was proposed by Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, who expressed alarm over how students used their mobile phones to cheat during examinations. 

Rodriguez said there were also reported incidents of students using their cellular phones to place prank calls, including making bomb threats, to trigger early dismissals in schools. 

According to industry estimates, there are about 50 million mobile phone users in the Philippines, who send some 1 billion text messages every day. (dpa)

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