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UK bans smartphones within the classroom

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By Mercy Kelani

This measure will reduce distractions and enhance discipline in the classroom.

All schools across the UK are now required to enforce a ban on smartphones by order of the government. This measure aims to reduce distractions and enhance discipline within the classroom setting. Concerns regarding the negative impact of mobile phone use, such as online bullying, distractions, and disruptions in the classroom, have prompted this decision due to the resulting loss of valuable learning time. A government survey was conducted on students in the United Kingdom (UK) before the ban.

According to the government statistics gotten from the survey, nearly a third of secondary school students admitted to using their mobile phones when they were not permitted to do so. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan stated that schools are environments where children are meant to acquire knowledge, and mobile phones are seen as a disruptive presence that should be kept to a minimum in the classroom. Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the UK, also made a comment on the situation.

33% of high school students reported that cell phones were causing disruptions.

He made a social media announcement last week about the success of schools that have implemented a ban on phone use. He encouraged other schools to do the same with the help of government resources. Approximately 33% of high school students reported that cell phones were causing disruptions in their classrooms. Cell phones have been identified as a source of distraction and bullying within schools. Numerous educational institutions have already implemented bans on cell phones.

These bans have resulted in a more conducive and secure learning environment for their pupils. We are now releasing updated guidelines to assist other schools in implementing similar policies with the necessary support. On February 19, a set of guidelines was released providing schools with different methods to implement the phone ban, including options like limiting phone use on school grounds or keeping them safely locked up throughout the school day. The Department of Education report also revealed some complaints.

97% of children in the UK have a mobile phone at 12 years old.

It stated that nearly half of parents in the UK are worried about the amount of time their children spend on screens, with an even greater percentage of secondary school parents sharing this concern. Additionally, statistics from the communications office indicate that a staggering 97% of children in the UK have a mobile phone by the time they reach 12 years old. Psychologists specializing in behaviour are worried about the potential effects of being exposed to this at a young age.

Despite the widespread use of mobile phones, people are increasingly aware of the negative impact they can have on a child’s social and educational growth. Unfortunately, it is those who are already at a disadvantage who are most affected by this issue. Tom Bennett, a leading behaviour advisor to the Education department, emphasized that the guidance on phone policies provides clarity for schools and parents on what is best for the child’s wellbeing. Many schools already have phone policies in place, but this guidance aims to provide a universal direction.

UNESCO recommended a total prohibition of smartphones in school premises.

England’s decision to implement these restrictions now aligns them with Nigeria and several other countries such as France, Italy, and Portugal that have already adopted similar policies. In Nigeria, the restriction on smartphones in schools was put in place back in 2012. While there is no official directive regarding the prohibition of phone usage, several states within the country have already enforced this measure. In a 2018 statement, UNESCO recommended a total prohibition of smartphones within school premises due to their association with lower academic achievement and detrimental impact on emotional well-being.

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