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No room for phones

Gina Spencer

No room for phones

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I AM GENUINELY CONCERNED about the Ministry of Education’s decision to allow students to use their cellphones in school, albeit with restrictions. I see a number of potential problems associated with this and beseech the ministry to give careful consideration before instituting such a policy.

No one can deny the benefits that the information technology age has brought to the educational world but it has also brought some nightmares as well.

I predict increased distraction in the classroom. Teachers are now having to deal with students suffering varying learning disorders, (among them Attention Deficit Disorders), poor concentration (some because of the use of mind-altering substances) and generally disruptive behavior in class. Now the Ministry of Education is adding the monitoring of cellphone use in the classroom.

No good can come of this. I predict that, instead of focusing on the teacher, students will be messaging their friends and going to Facebook and also some unsavoury sites during class time. I must add that my daughter was just 12 years old when a classmate showed her a “blue movie” on his phone at school. She was quite traumatised at the time.

I predict that children will be recording teachers without permission and putting them on social media. I also predict that they will record their own “blue movies” on the school compound. I can also see increased fighting and stealing as children compete among themselves for expensive cellphones.

Finally, research studies have linked the increased use of cellphones to increased electromagnetic frequencies which affect the developing brain in a negative way. Brain development is felt to continue throughout the teenage years.

I believe that prevention is better than cure. Rather than create new problems for principals, teachers and students, the ministry should be solving the problems created by the increased use of presently prohibited cellphones.

I implore them to consider the teachers who are on the frontlines and who have to deal with the accompanying behaviours brought on by these changes in policy. As a compromise they could perhaps allow cellphone use in sixth forms only. Please think this through.

– Gina Spencer