RIYADH — Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has directed all universities in the Kingdom to allow female students to use mobile phones inside the premises, according to Al-Hayat newspaper on Tuesday.
The announcement follows complaints from student and their parents, said the minister.
At least seven universities had mobile phone bans on female students and were confiscating devices, according to the ministry.
Al-Issa described inspection of students at entry points searching for mobile phones as unjustified and said it often delayed students from attending their lectures.
Mubarak Al-Osaimi, the ministry’s spokesperson, told Okaz, “The decision includes all higher education establishments across the country, both public and private.”
The order isn’t limited to mobile phones, but also includes the use of all electronic gadgets, he added.
Riyadh’s King Saud University also removed the need for approval of a guardian if a female student needed to leave campus before 11 a.m.
The ministry said in a statement that female university students are mature enough to live their lives using modern technology while at the same time committed to the country’s norms and traditions.
For the past three months, female students of Bisha University have been seeking permission to use their mobile phones inside the university premises.
They posted more than 12,000 tweets to the effect and created a hashtag #mobilephonesofBishauniversity.
Muneera Al-Qahtani, a girl student, said the ban on the use of smartphones inside the university had caused them a lot of pain and put them under immense pressure.
“Smartphones have become a necessity of the present day life and preventing female students from using them is something of the past generation,” she said.
SOURCE: Saudi Gazette