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[Yei, South Sudan, TCT] Yei Public Senior Secondary School in Yei Municipality has impounded 25 telephones from students in the school, and expelled two students who resisted to voluntary surrender their mobiles. The disciplinary committee of ‘Yei Public High School’, which is one of nineteen secondary schools in Yei town, launched the crackdown on telephones in the school last Monday.
Speaking to TCT on Saturday, the head teacher, Mr. Sebit Martin, said a dismissal letter was issued Friday against the two male students who were resisting school rules and regulations by refusing to give up their telephones. He added that on Monday, the school did a thorough search for prohibited materials in the school and confiscated about 25 hidden telephones. The efforts to consult the parents of dismissed students failed, though their relatives are aware of the matter, he explained.
“When we asked them to give us the telephone they refused and decided to go home for two days. That prompted us to issued the dismissal letters to them, and after hearing the news they began picking up sticks and wanted to beat teachers”, Said Martin.
The school policy does not permit students to use telephones in school, and requires that any confiscated phones be destroyed.
Students may use them during the holidays, but as the matter has threatened the effective learning environment, telephone use has been restricted. Sebit has told parents to remind children of when and where to use these telephones.
“Let us (parents) not think, we at school or administrators of schools are against children using telephones. When they are at their holidays, they can use their phones”, he said.
The deputy mayor of Yei Municipality, Silvano Ali Sanguson, told TCT that parents are partly to blame for providing their children with phones.
“This is the role which I think the parents should play: if you have a child in school, there is no need to provide him or her with a mobile phone”, he said.
He further remarked that he considers phones to be a potential distraction from students’ work:
Moses Taban, a parent, said the use of telephones by students contributes to drop out, but disagrees that parents are the only source of telephones.
“If you give a phone to your child, then it is harmful. However, nowadays, children have different ways to get a phones. The child may keep it at home without the father or mother knowing about it. You think the child is in school, but is instead with friends somewhere”, said Taban.
TCT could not reach the dismissed students for their comments. Yei cosmopolitan hosts over 61,000 students in nursery, primary, and secondary schools, drawing from all ten states of South Sudan. It is said there are other number of students who used phones to stay in touch with their far away parents in regards to their educational support.
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