As from September, the French government imposes a Ban on Cell Phones in Schools
Students from the middle, junior and public schools in France will be banned from using mobile phones by the government in their learning institutions. The pupils will be permitted to go with the cellphones to school but will be denied access during learning hours and will only be allowed to switch them on when they leave for home. This mobile phone ban in the lower levels of schooling was one of the campaign tools for President Emmanuel Macron. The minister of education in France, Jean-Michel Blanquer, noted that the ban would take effect at the beginning of the next academic year which starts in September of next year. This will apply to all children who start schooling when they are six years old to when they begin high School education at the age of 15.
The education minister said that the mobile phone ban had already been enforced in some institutions of learning. Blanquer noted that although mobile phones can sometimes be necessary for the learning process, their use, especially for under-age children must be controlled. He added that the move was also set to enlighten parents that children below the age of seven should have their time in front of television and smartphone’s screens limited. However, the union for head teachers in France has remained skeptical about the whole idea of banning mobile phones in learning institutions.
The deputy secretary general of the union, Philippe Vincent, said that its members had trouble comprehending the intentions and motivations of the ban by the ministry of education. He added that the announcement about the ban was neither pragmatic nor logical. The ban has also become so unpopular with pupils in the schools that have been affected. One of the 13-year-old students from a Middle school in the country’s capital of Paris said that she didn’t understand who will be the custodian of the cellphones or where they would be kept when they were in school. The student also noted that it was illogical since the ban did not have a laid out plan on how the whole exercise would be carried out.
Parents also seemed to be confused by the whole idea. Sabine, the mother of a 12-year-old, said that the move was a good idea, but she did not understand why her son would be allowed to carry his smartphone to school and not be allowed to use it. She suggested that it would be a better idea to have mobile phone signals blocked or jammed in schools.
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