The Ethiopian government has blocked social media sites across the country so as to enable students prepare adequately for the nation’s University entrance exam.

The government said the ban was to prevent students being distracted from studying during the exam period and to prevent the spread of false rumours, BBC reports.

“They will be unavailable for several days while university entrance exams are taken, a said. It’s a temporary measure until Wednesday. Social media have proven to be a distraction for students,” spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Getachew Reda said.

The blocked sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber.

This is the first time social media sites have been publicly blocked nationwide. Although social media sites have previously gone down for a couple of hours in time past with the government denying involvement.

The United Nations in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The Council went on to declare that internet service interruptions are Human Rights Violations.