EDITORIAL - Cell phone ban
(The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2019 - 12:00am

The school kids might stage a revolt, but a proposal to ban students from 10th grade and younger from using cell phones and other electronic gadgets in the classroom is worth considering.

Rep. Rida Robes of San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan has filed a bill in the House of Representatives, seeking the ban, which aims to cover students up to 15 years old.

Robes said studies have linked children’s use of phones and other electronic gadgets in school to diminished academic performance, cyber bullying, teenage depression and even suicide.

In contrast, she cited a 2015 study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science, which showed a significant improvement in students’ test scores in schools that banned mobile phone use. Robes also noted that last year, France imposed a nationwide ban on cell phone use among students in primary and middle schools to improve academic performance and promote healthy social development.

Her bill allows students to use their cell phones for emergencies, during special learning sessions, or if the gadgets are needed for medical purposes such as the monitoring of a child’s health indicators as recommended by a physician. The phones and other electronic gadgets are to be deposited with school authorities for safekeeping until the end of the school day.

It’s a different world and a different generation, for whom the use of electronic gadgets is intuitive. This proposal does not intend to deprive children of the use of such gadgets, but to allow them to concentrate better on using the faculties they were born with for learning within the controlled environment of a classroom. This ban is a proposal worth considering.

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