Should they ban phones from primary schools?
The use of phones is a concern for parents and it is understandable why. Many parents are finding themselves bowing to the pressure from their kids and having to buy their kiddie a phone because ALL their friends have one. However, no parent should feel pushed into it and having a mobile phone is quite a big deal for a young kid and of course, their parents. You might want to ask yourself why your child needs a phone and if it is simply peer pressure you would be mad to bow to it. Considering that primary schools are hoping to ban phones there may not be a good reason why your nipper should have one.
Recently - according to the Irish Times, Minister for Education Richard Bruton is to issue a circular to all schools shortly asking them to decide whether smartphone or tablet devices should be permitted and, if so, in what circumstances. Many primary schools have long-standing policies which prohibit mobile phone-use, or which require children to hand them to teachers on arrival in the morning. Many primary schools believe phones cause distractions and potentially cause more cyberbullying instances.
In recent times we have heard how the French government is to prohibit the use of mobile phones for students up to the age of 15 years old. The new regulation is to come into force in September and this is partly why the government is examining the necessity for such a measure. As 15-year olds in this country are in secondary school it can only be imagined that such a rule would cause panic amongst teenagers. Nevertheless, it is fair to state that youngsters don’t need phones at school and as recent stats reported that a little over half (51%) of teachers reported that students checking their phones in class was a hindrance to teaching and learning and furthermore, 60% of teachers want an outright ban on phones in schools.
It is noted that some parents give their children notes to tell teachers why their kids have a phone in some occurrences whereby the teacher has banned them. Phones do matter when children are going to school alone but surely, other measures should be in place for such events. If you need to get a message to your child, you can do so easily by ringing their school.
The more kids that have them the more kiddies will want them and no parent will want their child hanging around the yard stuck to their phone. It beggar’s belief really? Part of school life is socialising and building long-term friendships and scrolling through phones doesn’t allow such practices. Many parents don’t consider primary level children as needing phones and they would be correct; they don’t. If we survived without them surely kiddies can; right?!
Children need tech-free environments and children should be able to go and from school without devices as they do get to use devices when at home. That is plenty of time for them to go online or talk to friends. Parents are picking up the bill for phones and adding data into the mix making sure kids can stay connected to social media when they should be studying and doing work.
Let’s try to agree that mobile phones have no place in primary schoolyards and urge our schools to follow suit and ban them as the French have.
Written by Emma Hayes staff write at Family Friendly HQ.