Jul
19
2012

Do we really need cell phones in school?

I am horrified to read about the decision to allow mobile devices to be brought to school starting next year in our country. When dining out, just look around you. Most children are no longer interacting with each other these days. They all got their head burried into their mobile IT gadgets. A reunion of any sorts no longer holds any virtue of togetherness. What we get these days is a group of humans put together in one spot but interacting only through their social medias.

Do we really need that to be happening in schools too? Children are already burdened with ridiculous pressure these days. There is this pressure for them to excel academically as well as in sports and also the many other extra curriculum to make them an all rounder students.

I believe most of us parents can think back during our school days. We survived without having cell phones to distract us.

Why should we need mobile phones in school? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of bringing mobile phones to school.

#1 Parents can be in touch with their children and know their whereabouts

Hello! Your kids are in school and they are going from one lesson to another; walking from the computer lab to the science lab, back to the classroom, taking the occasional toilet break in between. Do you really NEED to call them to make sure they arrived at those ‘destinations’ safely?

#2 Kids can contact their parents in case of emergency

Back when I was a student, there is this thing called the TELEPHONE! It is a telecommunications device that ONLY transmits and receives sounds, usually the HUMAN VOICE and nothing else. It is located in the Teacher’s Room and should anything go wrong aka THE emergency, we just need to run to that room and request to make that call. Same goes if we parents needed to contact our kids in case of emergency, we can always call the school line and the teacher will help to convey the message to our kids. There is NO need for a mobile phone back then.. 

Why we do NOT need a mobile phone in school:

#1 Distraction!

Can you imagine a classroom scenario where as soon as the teachers were not looking, the students quickly take out their cellphones to update FB or anything else related to it? I am SO CONFIDENT this will happen because as a private tutor myself, as soon as MY students were not looking, I take out MY phone to check for updates! >_< If an adult such as ME can’t be mature enough to handle a phone in class, do you think these kids can?

Bringing a phone to class will definitely affect the children’s concentration level and even communication skills! I once asked my student a question and her quick response of “Let’s GOOGLE it!” took me by surprise. Whatever happens to THINKING and CREATIVITY? Are we shaping our kids to be a ‘cut and paste’ generation? 

#2 The DEAFENING sound of silence

Even if the children are told to switch off their phones in class, how many of them will really do it? Take adults for instance, do we actually switch off our phones in the cinemas? Yeah, you know the answer! If a teacher is to go around to check all phones are switched off, that will be a waste of precious 5-10 minutes during each lesson. Even in SILENT mode, the phone will still be a distraction as children can still communicate via text in class.

#3 Lacking of the peace of mind

School children will be so preoccupied with their phones that they won’t be able to give 100% concentration on their studies in class. Teachers have only limited hours spent with the children to instill wisdom in them. But if we teachers have to compete with the phones for the childrens’ attention, it will definitely be a harder battle to fight.

#4 Peer pressure

Kids as young as 4 are brand conscious these days. Dress your kid in pasar malam attire to pre-school and listen to what she has to complain when she gets home. Get your kid a ‘normal’ phone and risk them being bullied and made ridicule by the more ‘well-to-do’ kids with smart phones. Why create such unnecessary scenario?

I do not wish to send Ethan to a class full of zombies. It is bad enough he has a Zombie mom. He deserves to have REAL interactive friends. I really hope this silly decision of having cell phones in schools next year will be scraped off. Let these school children live through their childhood. Let them be human..

About the Author: Merryn Tan

16 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    totally agree, aiyo, we did survive through those horrible days without cell phones either, why can’t they ? besides, in terms of health/ radiation, its not good for children’s growth too.

    [Reply]

    jolene Reply:

    i survived too!

    [Reply]

  • //

    You tell them, not allowed to bring – they also bring. You take from them, ask their parents to come and claim…the parents come and want to fight with you…say you harass their kid bla.,..bla…bla…want to sue the teacher and the school and all that! Just think lah – the values that these parents instill in their kids, no wonder our society is going to the dogs.

    Just let them bring,if they want. PARENTS who know what’s good for their children should have enough sense to stop them from doing that THEMSELVES. Imagine them playing games and doing all those stuff on their iPhones and what not instead of paying attention during the lessons… That’s what more and more of them were doing in my tuition classes…and with their kind of attitude, I just gave up. That’s why I don’t teach anymore. No, thank you…bye-bye!

    And who bought those things for them in the first place? Who are the root of the problem? ALL parents should seriously ask themselves this question and consider whether they are doing their kids more harm than good. What worries me more is how more and more parents are using smartphones and ipads to babysit their kids. You see them at dinners chatting away, enjoying the food…and the little children sitting there fiddling with their gadgets…not talking and not even eating…and the sad fact is that they actually let them play with those things just to keep them quiet. Seems that parents today don’t know how to discipline their kids at all… Tragic, really really tragic!

    [Reply]

    Merryn Reply:

    Ok Arthur, you got me there too. Yes, we are to blamed for getting these gadgets for the kids hence the desperate need for the SCHOOL to be the limitation! LoL!

    But on a more serious note, I totally agree with you saying that parents today are using smartphones and tabs to babysit their kids. Horrifying isn’t it? I’m still not at that stage yet as I prefer Ethan to experience the real thing. I want him to squash real ants instead of squashing them on iPads!!

    [Reply]

    suituapui Reply:

    Yes, I’ve been reading your posts and I must say that I am impressed by what you are doing with/for Ethan. I wish I had all those opportunities when I was small…but my time, children were so deprived. The rule of terror – the cane!!! And children must be seen, not heard. Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

  • //

    P.S.
    And the nerve of one parent who called me to ask me why I decided to stop teaching…and she had the nerve to ask, “We pay you money you don’t want meh?” Well, she can take all her money and shove it up her yunno where. Money isn’t everything, woman!

    [Reply]

  • //

    Hmmm, another brilliant act from the government. Nowadays, kids are already pampered with these smart phones and ipad at home. Bringing these stuff to school will only worsen things out. There will be a lot of distraction to school activities, and peer pressure is another issue to tackle. How about theft as a result of peer presure? :(

    [Reply]

  • //

    yes, no handphone is needed while in school!! Get all student to deposit it at a locker should it has threaten our security for parents are so worry whereabout of their child each day.

    [Reply]

  • //

    I have the same thinking as you, Merryn. But what if it is being implemented, will you be giving Ethan a handphone?

    [Reply]

  • //

    yes .. coz the crime is increasing..
    so better safe than sorry

    [Reply]

  • //

    damn sien with this announcement really. I think most of us are turning into ROBOTS already!

    [Reply]

  • //

    yeah yeah, seriously children shouldn’t bring phone to school! :(

    [Reply]

  • //

    Kids nowadays have smartphones.
    I’m a working adult, and I don’t even own a smartphone. Pfftt!

    [Reply]

  • //

    Yes, yes, agree, actually i finished my all school year without a cellphone, I could totally sense that using cellphone could distract children to their studies nowadays.

    [Reply]

  • //

    Actually it’s very sad to see when ever my nephews and nieces get together, everyone busy with iPads. No more running playing chase-chase etc. Indeed iPads are great babysitter! Perhaps we have to embrace technology with a balance. My husband bought iPad but I never use it, as once I take it out, my daughter will fight for it. So I rather not use. But I do let her watch tv lah :)

    [Reply]

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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