The Christian Democrats want a ban on mobile phones in schools to improve pupils’ school results and boost social interaction.
The party cited research by the DUO education bureau which found that smartphones in the classroom lead to lower grades and affect language and reading skills.
The plan for a national ban, introduced during Wednesday’s education budget debate, would mean the schools’ own policies on mobile phone use would be superseded, because, the party claims, they create ‘confusion’.
Some schools already collect phones before lessons start. That, the CDA said, should happen at all primary and secondary schools.
Preventing pupils from using their phones would improve concentration, CDA MP René Peters told RTL Nieuws. ‘Teenagers think they can multitask but they can’t.’
It would be good for teachers too, he said, ‘because they will have more time to teach if they no longer have to start the class by telling pupils to put their phones away’.
Any eventual ban will not be received enthusiastically by all schools because some use them as a teaching tool and to communicate schedule changes.
Peters said that an iPad could do that job. ‘The daily misery caused by mobiles in schools far outweighs the small advantages. And who knows, the children might even start talking to each other again at break time.’
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