DUSHANBE -- The Tajik parliament's lower house has approved a regulation proposed by the Education Ministry to prohibit mobile phones in schools and universities.
Parliamentarian Dodikhudo Saymudinov, an author of the legislation, says mobile phones interrupt school lessons and harm students' health.
But parliament member Yusuf Ahmadov, who opposed the regulation, said mobile phones serve as a means for parents to check on the whereabouts of their children.
Ahmadov says that if mobile phones are prohibited, the government should provide land-line phones to give parents the opportunity to communicate with their children.
Lawyer Shuhrat Qudratov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that by approving such an "illegal regulation," the parliament is restricting student rights.
Most students told RFE/RL they are critical of the new regulation and will hide their phones.