Teachers, students unhappy with mobile phone ban in schools

July 18th, 2008 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, July 18 (IANS) Teachers and students alike are unhappy with the Madhya Pradesh government ban on mobile phones in schools. Most students said that banning mobile phones in schools was uncalled for. The teachers said stopping students from using mobile phones in schools was fine but they questioned the decision to not allow them to use mobile phones.

The state government Tuesday banned the use of mobile phones in all schools, both by the students and the teachers.

It will be effective in class room, common room, auditorium, practical room and playground and the head of the institution concerned would be held responsible if anyone was found using mobile phones and action would be taken against him.

The school education department has constituted 12 teams that are conducting raids in schools to check whether mobile phones were still being used.

Though none of the teams has been able to catch anyone violating the order, students and teachers alike are sore with the government’s decision.

“I don’t think mobile phones should be banned in school. We use them in case of emergencies. All of us do not misuse it. Some of us living far away from our school always require to be in touch with parents,” said Himanshu of St. Xaviers School.

“The students should be taught to use them properly and make calls only when it is extremely necessary. The ban should be on playing music and games or other misuse like creating obscene SMSes. Total ban is not justifiable,” said Anita, a student of Dr. Radha Krishnan School.

“The government might have banned it now but the use of mobile phones has been banned in my school for years. Still several students take them in and even use them in class,” said Sonam of Maharishi Vidya Mandir.

During the two days since the ban was imposed, several students and teachers have been seen using them after school hours. “Where did they suddenly got it if they did not have it during class?, asked Anjana Rathore, a teacher of BHEL School.

“The idea should have been to restrict their use during class. We as teachers need them the most since many of us leave children at home alone when we come to school. Having a cell phone makes it easier to know the whereabouts of our children as soon as the school hours are over. Otherwise we get to know of them after an hour or so when we reach home,” said A.N. Tripathi, a Sanskrit teacher.

“People are over-obsessed with mobile phones. But I don’t think schools should ban them completely. Only those with cameras should not be allowed,” said Tripathi.

The education department officials however feel that cell phones are a problem.

“Cell phones are a distraction as the students use short message service (SMS) during class and pay less attention towards studies. Also, not everyone remembers to turn off their phone during class. Besides, it helps in cheating as students can share information during exams. They can also store any information they want on their cellular phone”, said O.P. Sharma, joint director, school education department.

“Also they help in invasion of privacy. Camera phones are very popular and many a times they are used in an inappropriate way in schools creating scandals,” said Sharma.

“Use of cell phones by teenagers distracts them from their studies. Also it may cause several mental diseases. They can become irritated. As such, the government decision to ban cell phones in schools is a welcome step. It should be banned in medical colleges too,” said R.N. Sahu, psychologist at Hamidia Hospital.

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