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Mobile phones now banned in French schools

The start of the new school year in France has brought with it a ban on mobile phones during school hours. It affects children in primary school and those aged 11-15.  

This new ruling leaves children who are sixteen years and older free to make their own decisions.

Education rather than prohibition

Perspectives outside of France

SkyNews reports that 59 per cent of parents British parent think ‘mobile phones should be banned in schools’, with 51 per cent saying they shouldn’t be able to take them to and from school’. A recent survey revealed huge national disparities across the UK. In London, 41 per cent of parents don’t allow smart device usage for children under the age of 10. Yet in other parts of the country, over 90 per cent of parents do. Some 70 per cent of parents believe smart devices are addictive, but they consider that a tablet or smartphone is the necessary evil that children will have to be familiar with.

A similar ban in New York schools was reversed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Before that it was not properly enforced across the different schools and Blasio argued the ban prevented parents and children from staying in touch during the school day. The Panel for Educational Policy approved the removal of the ban. Only time will tell if France’s nationwide mobile phone ban in schools will work.

Every day during the 9th Child in the City World Conference, September 24-26 2018 there will be one parallel session focusing on children and digital media. Starting with ‘Children’s perspectives’ on Monday, on Tuesday ‘Media literacy’ will be explored and on Wednesday the focus will be ‘Planning media projects’. Visit the conference website for the full programme and details of how to register.

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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