Tell it to SunStar: On banning phones

THE usage and bringing of mobile phones to school have become a hot issue between parents and teachers. Most of the students bring their phones to school for security and safety purposes. However, the reality is this is hardly the case. Some students bring them for recreational purposes, like playing games, surfing the internet, taking inappropriate pictures and sometimes use them as a form of cheating and cyber-bullying. Due to the unstoppable influx of using of mobile phones, some schools resort to establishing signal jammers, although this was stopped.

Department of Education (Deped) Order 83 Series of 2006 provides that both students of elementary and high school are prohibited to use their phones during school hours. However, this order can only be imposed properly if there is cooperation between parents and teachers.

Now that Rep. Rida Robes of San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan has filed House Bill 5542 in the Lower House, House of Representatives, seeking to ban the use of smartphones during school hours, which aims to cover students up to 15 years old, is a bill worth considering. Robes said countless researches have linked children’s use of phones and other electronic gadgets in school to decrease academic performance, a manifestation of cyber-bullying, teenage depression and even suicide.

Teachers should educate their students about the responsible use of not just mobile phones, but also other gadgets in order for them to focus on their studies. On the other hand, parents must also guide their children at home so that they can prevent children from using phones in an improper way, which may harm their health and behavior. Students, for their part, are fortunate enough that they exist along with it. So they must use it responsibly.

This bill does not deprive students the use of gadgets, but instead to discipline them. Technology, especially mobile phones, helps us a lot in shaping our lives into modernization. But using technology in an improper way is not what is meant to be. If technology are used in this way, maybe it is better for technology not to exist.


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