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03 February 2021

China Bans Smartphones in All Primary and Secondary Schools

Environmental Health Trust, 2 February 2021

On Monday, the China Ministry of Education released a notice with the directive that all primary and secondary school students in China will be barred from bringing mobile phones to school. If a child is caught playing on their phone at school, teachers will confiscate the students’ phones and return them when the semester ends. Schools may not assign or ask students to do homework via cellphones and schools must set up public phones and teacher hotlines for communication between parents and students, the notice says. According to the notice, the measures are to protect students’ eyesight and allow them to concentrate on their studies, as well as preventing addiction to the internet and video games.

Headline reports “Ministry bans smartphones in all schools” ECNS states:

“The new measure, aimed at protecting students’ eyesight, making sure they focus on study and preventing them from becoming addicted to the internet and online games, has sparked heated debate among parents over the practicality of implementation and the need to keep their children up to pace with phone-centered technological advances in everyday life.”

“When Dai Hanyang was in middle school, his head teacher brought a hammer to school to enforce a cellphone ban.”Seeing him using it to smash a classmate’s mobile phone really let us know that he meant business,” Dai said. The 17-year-old, now a high school student in Changsha, Hunan province, said his school does not allow students to bring cellphones to campus and he never does.”

“Parents will now need to submit a written application if their child needs to bring a mobile phone to school, the ministry said in a notice issued on Monday. In such cases the student should hand the cellphone to the school for custody during school time, it added.”

Liu Changhai, professor of education at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province, said some parents have used cellphones as “free nannies” during summer and winter vacations and have not limited the time their children can spend using them.



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