The New South Wales State Government in Australia on Thursday said they would ban mobile phones and smart devices in schools in early 2019 in an attempt to improve student performance.
This will also quell the rising number of online bullying cases.
“Distraction and bullying have always been issues for schools to deal with but mobile phones present a new challenge for schools, teachers, parents and students,’’ NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said in a statement.
Berejiklian added: “We want to ensure mobile phones and other smart devices complement students’ learning, and are handled at school in an age-appropriate way.
“These changes will provide clear boundaries in our schools to ensure technology remains an enabler, not a detractor.”
While the ban will be in full effect in the state’s primary schools for children aged between 5-12, high schools will be given the option to opt in or “introduce measures to more tightly restrict the use of devices during school hours”.
The move comes on the back of an independent review commissioned by the NSW government in June.
This is where renowned child psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg, and his team examined 14,000 survey responses to measure the impact that mobile phones are having on educational outcomes and child development in schools.
“We’ll work with schools to implement the changes recommended in the report, helping them manage the risks and rewards of using mobile phones inside the school gates,” NSW Education Minister, Rob Stokes, said.
“These changes are about keeping our schools safe and protecting the welfare of our students when they’re in our care”.
The ban will come into effect from the beginning of 2019.