The use of mobile phones will be prohibited in high schools, including during breaks, according to Wednesday’s cabinet decision. However, the ban still has to be approved by the House of Representatives.

The blanket ban on mobile phones would mean gymnasium and lyceum school students would be allowed to bring them to school but they should keep them turned-off, Education Minister Athena Michaelidou told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

The prohibition on the use of mobile phones would include the students’ three breaks between lessons. Some schools have lockers that can be used to store the smart devices during the school day, the minister said.

She added that since not all parties agree with these measures, the final form of the legislation will have to be determined through discussion in parliament. However, she described the ministry’s proposal as the most balanced.

When asked what prompted this decision, the Michaelidou said that the issue has been under discussion for some time, with all European countries having already banned mobile phone use, and there was also a recommendation from Unesco.

“It is evident that the use of mobile phones distracts children from lessons and is primarily linked to an increase in delinquency,” she added.

On other education-related matters, cabinet approved two other amendments concerning electronic student registrations in secondary education, and the establishment of a remembrance day honouring the victims of the Armenian Genocide, the Pontian Greeks and the Assyrians.

Regarding electronic student registration, Michaelidou said that in collaboration with the deputy ministry of research, innovation and digital policy, parents will be able to register their children electronically using specific software. The move aims to facilitate student registration so that parents will not have to physically visit the school at the end of the school year.

The pilot implementation of this measure this year has already shown very positive and encouraging results, according to the minister.