Home Education ‘It’s a no brainer’: Kiwis support widespread ban on phones in schools
Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night. Closeup of hands with computer laptop in background

‘It’s a no brainer’: Kiwis support widespread ban on phones in schools

New Zealanders would like to see phones banned from classrooms across the country, judging by the reactions of hundreds of Kiwis on an informal poll run by the Herald on social media – and even students agree.

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Kiwis support a nationwide ban on cellphones in classrooms. Photo / 123RF
Kiwis support a nationwide ban on cellphones in classrooms. Photo / 123RF

Following on recent news of schools in Rotorua and Auckland banning cellphones, the Herald asked readers whether they thought other schools should follow suit.

The overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe phones have no place in classrooms.

“All schools need to get rid of them, they’re nothing but trouble,” one reader commented.

“Yes if they need a phone for after school then they should be handed in to the school office in the morning until after school, no need for phones during the day,” another Facebook user said.

“It’s a no brainer, really,” someone added.

“I think the question shouldn’t be why we need to ban phones at school, the question should be why do children need phones during school? If they need to get hold of their parents, they can ask their teachers to call or txt their parents. If they need to research something they can use the computer, I sure most schools in New Zealand have computers students can use for research. If they need it for calculator, they can use a little invention called a calculator,” someone commented.

“They don’t need their phones during their break time, those are times designed to hang out with your friends and actually socialising with a physical person. Children don’t need Instagram, Facebook, Netflix or YouTube during their break, they have plenty of time doing that stuff at home on their way to and from school,” the same Facebook user added.

A small number of Facebook users believe children should be allowed to keep their phones on them at all times, “in case of emergency”.

Auckland’s Diocesan School for Girls implemented a policy for its Year 7 to 10 students this year of no cellphones during school hours, laptop use only when directed by the teacher and no earphones on school grounds.

Year 10 student Holly Mulligan said she felt the policy would stop a lot of exclusion between students.

“When girls are on their laptops or phones it tends to separate the groups and people get ignored.

“I feel there is more positivity and more things to laugh and joke about as we are more invested in our friendships.”

Rotorua Intermediate School last month announced a ban on phones in classrooms, as other schools in the region had already done. Pupils can hand in their phones in in the morning, and get them back when they leave at 3pm.

Principal Garry de Thierry said pupils had been allowed their phones when computers and Chromebooks weren’t as readily available.

“It was just getting out of control. We had parents ringing up before lunch asking them what they wanted them to drop off for lunch and, when a child was feeling unwell, often they’d ring mum instead of following school process and going to the office,” he said.

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College in Napier had also banned the devices in classrooms and attributes its excellent NCEA ranking to the strict policy.

Source: NZ Herald

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