Should we ban smartphones in schools?

Vientiane Secondary School has made some new rules this year to ensure students pay more attention in class. One of their moves has been to ban the use of smartphones, although basic mobiles are allowed for communication with parents and friends. Vientiane Times asked some students, teachers and parents what they think of this idea.


Mr Xay Keovongxay, a student in Vientiane province: As a student, I do think that we spend too much time using our phones and don’t focus enough on our studies. But students won’t be happy if they’re not allowed to take their smartphones to school. I think we should be allowed to use them during break times but not during class. But if that’s the school rule then we have to comply and I think overall it’s a good thing. I don’t often use my smartphone at school so I don’t think such a ban would be a problem for me.

Ms Phokham Funthaboun, a parent in Vientiane: It would be great if my children’s school did the same thing. Children like to use smartphones and always try to persuade their parents to buy them one. My 12-year-old daughter has asked me to buy one for her because most of her friends have them. I don’t want to give her one because I don’t think it’s necessary, but I realise that children want what their friends have got. But smartphones cost a lot of money and children spend all their time on social media which is not always good for them as they can sometimes get the wrong information.

Ms Kam Vongsa, a schoolteacher in Xaythany district, Vientiane: We also try to discourage children from bringing smartphones to school. We also don’t like them to use other kinds of mobile because if they need to contact their parents they can use the school phone or ask a teacher to help them. But it’s difficult to enforce this rule and it seems that children just can’t live without their smartphones. They quite often try to hide them. We can’t enforce a ban independently but if the education authorities asked us to institute a ban we would be happy with that decision as it would mean we could discipline children if we find them with a phone. But we need parents to support us in this matter and not allow their children to use their phones too much at home as they won’t get any homework done.

Mr Lado, a student at a secondary in Vientiane: My parents don’t let me bring my smartphone to school. They worry that I will use it during class. And yes sometimes I do chat with my friends by borrowing someone else’s phone. Other students do the same thing. They hide their phone under the desk so the teacher doesn’t see them using it. It’s not a problem for me if my school bans smartphones because my mother won’t allow me to have one at school anyway.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 11, 2018)

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