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Gujarat Bans Use of Mobile Phones in Schools and Colleges – Step in Right Direction…

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While I was studying in school, mobile phones were not so popular – or for that matter highly unaffordable then – for the student communities to take them in school or colleges. However, the pace of mobile revolution that we’ve witnessed since then needs no mention over here.

What’s even more fascinating is that the growth of mobile internet is also at its nascent stage which is ought to become increasingly popular amongst the net-savvy younger generation – in this era of low-cost mobile handsets offering smart features.

Here is significant news – Gujarat government has banned use of mobile phones in schools and colleges, saying it was affecting educational activities in the institutes.

In a first of its kind decision taken by any state in the country, a resolution to this effect was passed by the Gujarat’s state education department saying students up to class 12 will not be allowed to take cell phones inside the school premises.

mobile-ban

Well, that’s not all – even teachers, staff, parents and visitors will not be allowed to use mobile phones in places like classroom, library and laboratory. While college students will be allowed to carry their handsets, they won’t be permitted to use it.

Banning Mobile Phones in Education Institutes – A step in right direction…

How many of us consider mobile phones as a need (an unavoidable gadget!) rather than a want? Well, almost all of us are accustomed to using mobile phones since at least few years now. It certainly serves as an inevitable communication medium in this fast moving age. But, does life start and end with it?…

While the teaching community has been overwhelmingly in favor of mobile phone bans, parents are more enthusiastic about their children being allowed to carry cell phones at school. Some teachers point out that cell phones do not exactly have legitimate academic uses during the classroom sessions.

These days, parents are more open-minded in allowing their children to take cellular telephones to classes in case of emergencies. But, doesn’t that defeat the schooling aspect? The main objective of schooling is to imparting education and knowledge. Socializing with friends can always be done before or after the school timings.

The world was always on during our schooling times, when cell phones were not part of the package of the communication culture of our life. In fact, cell phones might bring with it the nuisance value in a rather codified environment of schooling. A major aspect of schooling is discipline and learning – and that’s what they are designated for. Thus, detractors say that drawbacks to student cell phones outweigh the benefits.

Imagine a loud mobile phone ringing in between a classroom session – won’t teacher lose his/her attention, not to mention the woes of the distracted students? Or for that matter a student who is not interested in a particular subject, checking his SMS diary during a classroom discussion. And, what about cheating and inappropriate photos – which could be a by-product of a handset, loaded with a sophisticated camera?

I’m not against permitting cell phones to be used in case of emergencies, but permitting it to remain on and distracting students during the classroom hours is definitely a ‘no-no’ for me. In fact, use of cell phones could be useful to both parents and students when scheduling after-school activities and other plans – but, that is, if such plans are not charted out during the official schooling hours.

I have my own set of apprehensions when it comes to laws governing to partially limiting the use of cell phones during the teaching hours without banning cell phones completely. Setting such limits and initiating actions such as confiscating phones from students caught using them during inappropriate times could be met with little success – and, moreover, hinders the definition of ‘schooling’ to ‘policing’ students.

What’s your view on this sensitive issue?

  1. Moa Jamir Carey says

    yes, use of mobile phones in schools should not be allowed. Students cannot concentrate on their studies and as we all know, they use it for fun. It also has some negative issues, such as pornographic pic's and videos. However, in colleges, students can be allowed to bring but should not use during class hours. Just my view.

  2. Moa Jamir Carey says

    yes, use of mobile phones in schools should not be allowed. Students cannot concentrate on their studies and as we all know, they use it for fun. It also has some negative issues, such as pornographic pic's and videos. However, in colleges, students can be allowed to bring but should not use during class hours. Just my view.

  3. j&k Education says

    Cell phones have long bedeviled educators, who have extensive research to back up their complaints that the devices suck away their testing students’ attention and, increasingly, their academic honor.That’s why 69 percent of American high schools have banned their use or even possession on school grounds, according to figures compiled by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies children’s use of technology.

  4. N.praveen (rgt) says

    Seriously, how many times in a year would a parent need to contact their child for emergency? Would it justify keeping the mobiles on through out the day? Can the schools enforce that students and teachers put their mobile phones on manner mode when on campus?

  5. N.praveen says

    Gujarat has taken good decision, as the cell phone has become most famous then the books in the school and collegesI ,so atleast it should banned up to +2 level. There is a chance of misusing it at that age…………

  6. sam says

    well its upto the person who is usin the phone…
    according to me it should not totally ban… but it should be restricted during study hours….
    mobiles are used for many purposes, its advantages are more comparing to its drawbacks….
    so i think its not a good IDEA ” to throw the baby out with the water in bath tub”
    restrict the things that are distruptive… not ALL…
    see ya

    1. Viral says

      @Sam, @Sonal…

      Quite noble and balanced view. Agreed, but how can the middle path be adopted? Is it possible practically? Thoughts…

  7. Sonam says

    Well. no need to ban it Only In Schools. Just ban it from using it while a class in in progress and figure out a way to enforce it.

  8. Host.co.in says

    Gujarat has taken good decision, as the cell phone has become most famous then the books in the school and colleges. As it affects the education of a student when he starts using the cell phone. The rule which Gujarat had taken should be taken by ever state government.

  9. suby cherian says

    I am totally agreed with u , atleast it should banned up to +2 level. There is a chance of misusing it at that age…………
    Parents also should be aware of it
    I got one mobile when i was in degree second year
    So it should banned till Plus two

    regards

    http://www.helloplot.com

  10. Nikhil Bhagia says

    i can smell some ‘pun’ there ! :) ………….besides, barring eng & eco.,leave tweeting, other lectures are not even worth attending ! :-| teachers have 15-20 min. of ‘trying’ to explain a concept & …….70-80 min of dictating notes ! …..over 3 lectures ! ………sch is the sad state of our educational system ! ……..i am tired now………i am going to write a letter, requesting good, interesting & interactive teaching techniques,………..get it signed by each & every student,……& then submit it to the principal ! ……..i’ve been around complaining & criticising for ages now ! ……….lets c if i can do something or not !

  11. Madhav Shivpuri says

    Kids with mobile phones… so when the teacher punishes a student by making them stand outside the classroom they can play with their phones! Cool.

    Seriously, how many times in a year would a parent need to contact their child for emergency? Would it justify keeping the mobiles on through out the day? Can the schools enforce that students and teachers put their mobile phones on manner mode when on campus?

    (When I go to India on vacation and go to watch a movie in a theater, its other people’s fantasy ring tones at their loudest level that irritate me. Manner mode is probably the most unknown feature on the mobile phones in India. Being an Indian, I am not trying to point fingers at fellow Indians, just that, some basic civil sense has to either exist, or the theater management should request them to put their mobile phones on manner mode thru display the notice on big screen. The reason I mention it here is because same goes for schools and colleges.)

    1. Viral says

      Agreed with you Madhav… such mannerisms need to be inculcated at the basic school level to start with, rather than encouraging them in the name of new generation and technology. Technology can always be adopted at a later stage or during off-hours – no need to make them compulsive at such an early age.

      As also, at a later stage these youngesters are going to be hooked on mobile phones – either through messages, voice calls or mobile internet. At least, let them learn other things right now.

      1. Nikhil Bhagia says

        Ok…….you win !………but again, by just banning it……….do u think it would stop??? ………convincing students would be a better option i guess ! ………….we are concerned w/ the ‘indian’ students………..& indians are masters of jugaad, sire ! :P

    2. Nikhil Bhagia says

      well……….our mobile is always on manner mode as we have a v strict teacher who confiscates the SIM Card……….what we’ve learnt in the process is the ability to talk, txt & tweet………without even the teacher noticing it !……….yes, we can even talk on manner mode ! :P

      1. Viral says

        Haha!…. Interesting take Nikhil. Manner mode or Silent mode whatever you say, but isn’t it distracting your attention from studies onto tweet and all.

        But, I liked the way you have mentioned this fact with innocence :)

        1. Madhav Shivpuri says

          Quietly tweeting or SMSing is great for you if you don’t care much for what is being taught. The teacher does not need to learn the concept or write the exam :-) If one were to tweet the concepts learnt in class, one can memorize them better and even help those students who don’t have the benefit of being in your class. What say Nikhil?

  12. Nikhil Bhagia says

    i echo vivek’s thoughts on this !
    first of all, i *hate* this so called education system of ours ! the system that teaches a child, not to think innovatively, or discover stuff……rather focuses on passing exams……doing the most ‘practical’ thing……by learning non-practical stuff !
    besides, i think of using mobile phone’s ‘for’ education……….can’t we use it to enhance the teaching………..we can have quizzes wherein all students should participate ……using maybe bluetooth,……….we can have apps that can be used to make a certain topic not only clearer , but more fun…………..& what not ! there are no limits to wat all can we do !

  13. Sandy says

    Well. no need to ban it completely. Just ban it from using it while a class in in progress and figure out a way to enforce it.

  14. Rohan says

    Will the college staff(teachers, lab attendants, office staff) follow it? Not likely.

    One may argue that the staff has ‘important work’ on phone, while students mostly have ‘time-pass’ things on phone. But I do not think that has merit.

    Conversely, if a student is texting during the lecture, it is only him who is distracted, but if the teacher’s phone rings, its the whole class that gets distracted.

  15. Vivek Khandelwal says

    The title of the post also says colleges – If the govt is planning to curb mobiles in colleges and the writer is supporting this move – then FYI – This is not 1998. And if you expect 10th class students to be hooked onto the internet and search on forums for IIT JEE and SAT – then asking him to keep his cell phone home doesn’t make a lot of sense. This probably is Gen Z.

    1. Viral says

      @ Vivek… I partially agree with your views. But, a ‘student’ remains a student in whichever generation you speak about. The importance & need for rules in school doesnot change with generations. Nothing in the world halts if mobile phones are disallowed during classroom hours.

      As a growing child, the student should be thought about personal conduct. The stereotype depicts a teenager at the dinner table, completely disinterested in family time, instead being comletely occupied with text messaging and mobile instant messenger. The same problem also happens at the school level.

  16. Pradeep says

    I agree with your vies and it should be banned at least till class 10 for sure. When they are in school, the focus should be on study..and yes chances are more that instead of using it for good purpose like emergency etc, they use it for fun with all kind of romantic music as their ringing tone.

    1. Viral says

      Agreed Pradeep… In fact, what I feel is that a law governing a student should be applicable for all students including higher school and college students as well. Now, whether the same rule should be applicable to college students as well is a matter of intense debate.

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