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10 December 2017

France: « No more mobile phones in schools and 'collèges' as of the 2018 return », announces the Minister for National Education

« No more mobile phones in schools and “collèges” as of the 2018 return », announces Jean-Michel Blanquer
Le Monde, 10 December 2017 (translation)

The measure, confirmed Sunday by the Minister for National Education, was a campaign promise of Emmanuel Macron.

Philippe Huguen / AFP
Mobile phones will be banned in schools and “collèges” [children up to age 15] as of the 2018 return, announced the Minister for National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, Sunday 10 December, during a broadcast of “Le Grand Jury RTL-LCI-Le Figaro”. “We are working on the issue, this can take different forms,” he said. “You may need it for educational purposes, for emergency situations, so mobile phones must be limited.”

This was a campaign promise of Emmanuel Macron.

Many teachers are alarmed by the “scourge” and the “endless war” posed by mobile phones at school. More than eight out of ten teenagers were equipped with a smartphone, according to a 2015 Credoc study, compared to 20% in 2011. The trend begins towards primary school, when students start to have one sometimes from fourth grade onwards when they go to school alone because it reassures parents to be able to reach them at any time.

The implementation of this measure is expected to be complicated. The educational code already forbids the use of mobile phones in “colleges” and schools during classes. The prohibition in the playground and between classes leaves, on the other hand, teacher unions doubtful both for reasons of respect for the wishes of the parents (who want to be able to reach their child after classes) and of practical obstacles (school employees spending their time searching the students’ bags)
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Original article in French:
http://www.lemonde.fr/education/article/2017/12/10/plus-de-telephones-portables-dans-les-ecoles-et-colleges-a-la-rentree-2018-annonce-le-ministre-de-l-education-nationale_5227485_1473685.html

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