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Russia's State Duma Bans Cellphones in School Classrooms

School children hand in their cell phones before an exam. Sergei Fadeichev / TASS

Russian lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of banning the use of cellphones in school classrooms, a move they argue will help improve the learning process for students. 

The speaker of Russia's lower-house State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said cellphones would no longer be permitted in classrooms except for “emergencies.”

“Parents and teachers asked us to back this rule. The adopted decision will improve the quality of our children’s education,” Volodin wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

The amendments to Russia’s law on education are expected to be approved by senators in the upper-chamber Federation Council and President Vladimir Putin.

The changes also include the return of Soviet-era workshop classes as part of the compulsory curriculum.

“We need to prepare both boys and girls for adult life: teach them how to cook borshch because they have to take care of their husbands, learn how to hold a hammer or some new technologies,” Volodin said.

The changes are expected to go into effect as early as January, according to the pro-Kremlin tabloid Izvestia.

Observers say one side effect of the cellphone ban may be students’ inability to film cases of teachers using violence or verbal abuse against children.

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