France bans smartphone, other internet-connected devices in schools

Published on: Aug 2, 2018 14:16 IST
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Children in France will no longer be able to use their smartphone in school as the French government has passed a new law which bans use of 'all internet-connected objects', including phones, smart watches and tablets during school hours. The decision will come into effect from September when school session will begin. According to this law, students in the age group of 3-15 years will not be allowed to use smartphone and other such electronic devices in school. However, French high schools, with students aged 15 years and above, will be free to choose whether to implement the ban on their kids.

The government took this step to curb digital addiction among adolescents. Passing of the law was one of the promises President Emmanuel Macron made during his campaign. While the lawmakers Macron's centrist LREM party and its allies supported the bill, lawmakers on the left and right decided to abstain from the voting terming it a 'publicity stunt' that would change nothing.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the move may encourage some other countries to implement such rule for the betterment of school kids. He had earlier said that the ban is a matter of public health because kids don't play anymore during breaks.

"It sends a message to French society as well as countries around the world," Blanquer said in a statement.

Interestingly, a recent study showed that nine out of 10 students own a smart device in France and teachers often complain about students being engaged in messaging and chatting in the classroom.

However, France is not the first country to introduce such a ban as almost one third of schools in the Britain don't allow smartphone during class.

Also, increasing dependence on you handsets leads to 'nomophobia' or 'NO MObile PHOne phoBIA'. It is a kind of fear of not being able to use smartphone or other such devices.

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