The recent announcement by the Education Ministry to allow students to carry hadnphones to schools starting next year had caused much of a hoohah in the papers. Many have expressed their disagreement to the idea.
Personally, I disagree to the idea too. Here’s my rundown of why we should not allow our primary/secondary students bring their phones to school:-
1. Classroom distraction
How are the teachers to ensure that every student switch their phones to “Silent mode” when in school? Easy right? Put up a civic message all over the classrooms? Did we not do that in cinemas and you still have some recalcitrant who will not silent their phones and even answer calls in the cinema.
2. Games, games, games
Handphones come with games and applications installed in them. While the teachers are writing on the blackboard, I am sure there will also be students trying to play handphone games behind the teacher’s back.
3. Video recording
Almost all handphones now has at least 1 camera in it. This will be posing another problem. By allowing them to bring the handphones to classes, some mischivious students may secretly record their teachers, their classmates’ antics in schools. We have had a few incidents of students bullying in schools and these videos were uploaded into YouTube. By allowing handphones to be in school, are we opening the floodgate to more recordings? What if the students go a step further into becoming peeping tom and record their female schoolmates in any stage of undress?
4. Mine is better than yours
Phones are getting more and more advanced. Parents nowadays are also getting the latest model of phones ie iphone, Samsung Galaxy S3 etc for their children. I am sure the children will have the tendency to bring their latest high tech phones to school and show their schoolmates. Are we indirectly introducing peer pressure in school? Am sure those with the older models will feel inferior compared to their classmates who are “blessed” with the latest phones and will start to pester their parents to buy the same phone too.
Next comes the question of where to safekeep the phone? In school, students are to take on non-classroom activities like physical education on the field, attend extra-curricular bodies ie. Boy Scout etc. Is the school going to provide lockers for the students to keep their valuables which in this case is the phone? How about during recess time? When the phone gets stolen or misplaced, the school is going to be facing unnecessary headache of attending to students whose handphones are stolen. Worse still will be overzealous parents who are going to confront the school on their children’s missing phones – blaming the school of not ensuring their children’s properties are taken care of. I am sure we can all see this coming….
Given more time, I can name even more reasons why the politicians and Ministries should put mroe thoughts into this idea before opening their mouths. Sigh!! We all know nowadays it’s the mouth that perform faster than the brain….especially when it comes from politicians.