UK Prime Minister Announces Nationwide Ban on Mobile Phones in Schools to Create Safer Learning Environment

UK Prime Minister Announces Nationwide Ban on Mobile Phones in Schools to Create Safer Learning Environment

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces nationwide ban on mobile phones in schools to create a safer and more focused learning environment. New guidelines aim to mitigate distractions and safeguard students' well-being.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 01:18 PM IST
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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak | AP

In a move aimed at tackling the pervasive issue of mobile phone distraction in classrooms, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Monday a nationwide ban on mobile phones in schools. Sunak, in a video shared by the British government, underscored the disruptive nature of mobile phones in educational settings, emphasizing the need for a more focused learning environment.

A Safer Learning Environment

"Almost one-third of secondary school pupils said their lessons were disrupted by phones. We know they (mobile phones) are a distraction in the classroom and cause bullying in schools. Many schools have already banned them, which has led to a safer and better learning environment for their students. Now, we’re publishing new guidance so other schools have the support they need to do the same," Sunak stated.

Guidelines to Mitigate Distractions

The new guidelines, as per a report by PTI, encompass a range of measures including banning phones from school premises, mandating students to hand in phones upon arrival, and securely storing phones during school hours. These measures aim to mitigate the detrimental effects of mobile phone use on students' concentration and well-being.

Data from the UK media watchdog Office of Communications (OFCOM) revealed that by the age of twelve, 97% of children possess a mobile phone. The Department for Education (DfE) highlighted concerns regarding the link between mobile phone usage in schools and online bullying, as well as the resulting loss of learning time.

Government's Commitment to Safety

Commenting on the initiative, UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan emphasized the government's commitment to safeguarding children's well-being in the digital age. "Growing up in today’s digital world provides immense opportunities but this should not come at the expense of our children’s wellbeing or education," Donelan remarked.

(Inputs from PTI)

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