Maharashtra: Is decision to ban mobiles in schools correct? Principals, parents, students weigh in

Maharashtra: Is decision to ban mobiles in schools correct? Principals, parents, students weigh in

Every state and state government follow different rules, while in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the ban on mobile phones recently.

Alok ParekhUpdated: Wednesday, December 28, 2022, 08:52 PM IST
article-image
Representative Pic

Should mobile phones be allowed in schools or not? - This is a debate that has been going on even before Covid-19 struck. Every state and state government follow different rules, while in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the ban on mobile phones recently. Below is what parents, principals, and students have to say about the usage of mobile phones in Mumbai schools.

The Maharashtra government, a few days ago, decided to outlaw cell phone use inside schools, giving rise to mixed reactions among educationists. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, informed the State Legislative Council of the decision and stated that directives have been issued about prohibiting cell phone use on school premises.

The main idea behind implementing the decision was to reduce the number of sexual crimes that take place inside schools. However, the issue of sexual crimes is now side-lined by other problems that the educationists speak about.

Principals skeptical about mobile ban

Principals say that the ban on mobile phones is completely a debatable issue and that it is not actually necessary to ban their use inside schools. They suggest that an age limit could also be introduced, allowing only those students to carry the device who are certain years old.

“Parents mainly want to track their children,” said Nutan Iyer, Principal, Diamond Jubilee High School, ICSE, Mumbai. She said that in her school, students who carry mobiles are asked to deposit them at school offices when they enter, and they collect them back at the time of dispersal.

The principal added that the word ‘ban’ if used to reduce sexual crimes, means that not only schools but also coaching classes and parents would have to get involved in avoiding the students’ phone usage. “Rather, we must find a solution that is feasible for schools, parents, and students because banning the device would mean that we’ll have to shift back to a few-years-old system of conversing through emails, which was a tiring process for the parents and a bit inconvenient too.”

Parents divided on the impact of the move

However, parents don’t really agree about them wanting to track their children. They say that it is very difficult now to snatch mobile phones away from their kids.

Rupa Agarwal, a parent from Santacruz, said that she is not supporting the act of her son carrying a mobile phone to school. “Despite telling him multiple times not to carry the phone in school, he somehow manages to take it to school. And when stopped, he starts arguing with us,” said a peeved Rupa.

Parents are worried that their children are addicted to using mobile phones so much that they won’t be able to function if the device is snatched away from them. Though they don’t favour the students carrying mobiles to school, they seem helpless.

“My daughter spends most of her time at home using her mobile. Additionally, she also wants to take it to school even though the school asks her to deposit it at the reception and collect it back while leaving,” said Sangita Shetty, a parent from Dombivali.

Shetty added that the idea of banning mobile phone usage on school premises is a good one because that might be the only way students can lessen their addiction. 

Maharashtra govt's decision finds little support in prominent survey

A survey conducted by the Department of Psychology and Abnormal Psychology of Czech Republic’s Palacky University in June 2022 suggests that the students who were not allowed to use mobile phones in schools were lagging behind in several aspects like the degree of competition and the level of understanding. On the other hand, the students who were allowed to use mobile phones in schools got involved in conflicts more often than the ones who didn’t use the device.

The mobile ban has been a matter of concern for schools because with the disadvantages going away, so are the advantages of using the devices.

Nikhat Jafferey

Aim for caution with mobile ban, says Mumbai principal

Nikhat Jafferey, Principal, Billabong High International School, Santacruz, said that banning mobiles is a decision that must lie in the parents’ hands. “What best schools can do is to make sure that proper monitoring takes place and students don’t use the device when in classrooms,” stated the Principal.

The educationist also suggested that if the fear is of students visiting websites and webpages that they shouldn’t visit, the installation of firewalls could be of great help. “Using firewalls, social media websites and other inappropriate websites can be blocked,” she said. 

She said that at times students in the classroom are required to do some research for a better understanding of certain concepts and banning mobiles completely would be a problem for students as well as schools. “Conducting Audio-Visual sessions in the class for group sessions is okay but when it involves individual research work, having your own device is of greater help,” Jafferey said.

According to another study, published in the South Asian Journal of Global Business Research in July 2016, 80% of the variation in university students’ dependency on smartphones could be explained by convenience, social needs and social influences.

Dr. Sangeeta Shetty

Educationists suggest other alternatives

“Students are nowadays dependent on the internet and they can’t imagine their life without it,” said Dr. Sangeeta Shetty, Chief Administrative Officer, Bhatia Group of Schools. She suggested that to reduce the crime rate in schools and simultaneously for the parents to know where their children are, a non-smartphone can be given to them.

“With this happening, the schools, parents, and students, everybody is happy,” said the principal.

Young stakeholders make their case on mobile ban

While the principals and parents have mixed opinions, students stay firm that they should be allowed to carry mobile phones inside schools.

“If we won’t be allowed to carry our mobile to school, it would be very weird for us,” said Anoushka Devadiga, a grade 9 student from Kurla. She said that her friends and she carry mobile phones to school just so that they won’t be victims of peer pressure.

With the principals, students, and parents tussling over the issue, it is now very important that the government comes up with a solution feasible for all.

RECENT STORIES

SSC Results To Be Declared On Monday

SSC Results To Be Declared On Monday

CUET UG 2024: Admit Cards For Common University Entrance Test May 29 Released By NTA

CUET UG 2024: Admit Cards For Common University Entrance Test  May 29 Released By NTA

NEET UG 2024: NTA To Release NEET UG Answer Key Soon, Check Details Here!

NEET UG 2024: NTA To Release NEET UG Answer Key Soon, Check Details Here!

IIT Kanpur Graduate Quits MNC Job To Become Fitness Coach, Inspires Many

IIT Kanpur Graduate Quits MNC Job To Become Fitness Coach, Inspires Many

APSET Results 2024: Andhra Pradesh State Eligibility Test Results Released At apset.net.in

APSET Results 2024: Andhra Pradesh State Eligibility Test Results Released At apset.net.in