Teachers ban mobiles

ANGRY teachers say they have taken action against a new problem in Slovak schools - mobile phones.

Every second person in the country owns a mobile phone, and many of those are teenagers. Mobile phone companies reported record profits in 2001 on an explosion in sales.

But while teachers say they can understand some parents buying their kids a phone to keep in touch, they have been forced to ban them because students keep using them in class.

"We don't have any problems with the use of mobile phones. We've just banned the kids from carrying them to school," said Norbert Kyndl, headmaster at one school in Bratislava.

Other schoolmasters have banned kids from using the phones even during break times.

The Education Ministry has not come out in full support of teachers' actions but says it will let schools make their own decisions on the use of mobile phones by youngsters.

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