Education minister Sam Oneri has banned the use of mobile phones and videos in schools with immediate effect in a bid to stem ongoing unrest in secondary schools across the country.

The move comes after a Form III student from Upper Hill High School in Nairobi died in an arson attack in late July. Over 300 schools have been affected by student protests and disruption in the last two months and several institutions have been forced to close.

Some students have blamed the riots on mock final examinations, which they say were too difficult. Others have pointed the finger at the post-election violence in January and February while others still say they are protesting over inadequate and badly cooked school meals.

Over 100 students have been arrested and charged over the unrest and a task force has been set up to investigate the crisis and identify a possible way forward.

Meanwhile president Mwai Kibaki has ordered the lifting of a 2001 ban on corporal punishment in an attempt to restore discipline in schools.

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