The UN warns of the danger of using phones in schools
World
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8 months ago
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The United Nations has warned of the dangers of using smartphones in schools, saying only "technology necessary for learning" can be used in schools.

Phones can cause distraction, endanger students' privacy and lead to cyberbullying, UNESCO, the UN agency for education, science and culture, has said, reports the BBC.

But less than one in four states have laws and regulations prohibiting the use of phones in schools, according to the report.

Manos Antoninis, author of the Global Education Monitor 2023 report, told the BBC their study found "instances of phone use in school that are distracting students from learning and increasing risks to their privacy at the same time ".

"Only technology that supports learning has a place in school," he said.

Several studies have shown that banning cell phones in schools improves academic performance, the report points out.

Lexi, 16, said her previous teacher allowed educational use of phones at school, but said students would often use them for social media instead.

She argued that while smartphones can be used for bullying, they can also help create a sense of connection with others.

"I can see how phones can have a detrimental effect on the person being bullied and their mental health. But, in terms of mental health, phones can provide a good social connection.

"If you're having a hard time with anything, then you should have the right to talk to someone," she told the BBC.

In 2017, Bangladesh banned students and teachers in schools and colleges from bringing mobile phones into classrooms.

France also banned their use, but makes exceptions for certain groups of students, for example those with disabilities, or when smartphones are used for teaching.

And next year the Netherlands will largely ban cell phones, tablets and smartwatches in high school classrooms.

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