By Anne Huang
It is official. French schools officially are going to ban its students from using cell phones on any school grounds starting in September.
French president Emmanuel Macron had previously promised to ban children’s phone use until the age of 15 during his election campaign. The new act outlaw any phone use by children under the age of 15 in school playgrounds, break times, or anywhere within school grounds.
The Macron did this in hopes to force children to “unplug” during school hours, as well as help concentrate on lessons through removing one of the most popular distractions: smartphones.
Statistics shows that presently, more than 90% of the students in France aged between 12 to 17 possess a phone.
The French politicians and parties are surprisingly coherent and agreeing on this matter. They all believed that addiction to phones can do severe damage in the children’s education, growth, and schoolwork. The only disagreements present were how this should be achieved. Before the law was finalized for all phones to be banned on school grounds, the suggestions pitched included forcing children to place phones in lockers or placing “ their phone in a box before cabinet meetings”. It almost went as far as to also stretch this enforcement to teachers as well, banning their phone use in classrooms too.
This topic also sparked conversations in Taiwan regarding if they should do the same, and if the Taiwanese students also need a break from their addiction, whether voluntarily or by force.
An online pole by Yahoo news Taiwan held questions regarding this topic, asking what the online users think of student’s phone usage in school. Although it’s quite evenly split on if a lot of lower schools bring phones (52.9%), the number increases dramatically when asked whether or not they feel a lot of middle schoolers use phones at school (70.2%).
The number scale switches places though when asked how appropriate it is for lower schools or middle schoolers to use phones in school. While 65.9% of internet users believe that it is inappropriate for lower schoolers, the number decreases to 58.3% when the position is switched with middle schoolers.
Finally, when asked whether or not cell phones should be banned altogether the pole showed quite positive result, with 64.4% of voters saying they strongly agree.
This poll clearly shows that Taiwanese are also very aware of student usage in schools, and understands how it may have a damaging effect on the kids as well as their education. But whether or not the Taiwanese government would go as far as the French did in banning cell phone use all together, we do not know yet.