Philippines considers mobile device ban in classrooms

Philippines Considers Mobile Device Ban in Classrooms

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, has proposed a bill (Senate Bill 2706) to ban the use of mobile devices and electronic gadgets during class hours in all public and private schools, from kindergarten to senior high school.

Curbing Distractions, Boosting Learning

Gatchalian cites studies showing a negative impact of excessive mobile device use on student performance. He highlights two key points:

  • Direct impact: Increased phone use during studying correlates with lower grades and test scores.
  • Indirect impact: Excessive phone use hinders the development of skills and cognitive abilities crucial for academic success.

Data-Driven Concerns

The proposal is backed by data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 Philippines:

  • 80% of Filipino students aged 15 reported being distracted by their own smartphones in class.
  • Another 80% reported being distracted by classmates using smartphones.

The analysis revealed a correlation between smartphone distractions and a decline in student performance:

  • Math: 9.3 point decrease
  • Science: 12.2 point decrease
  • Reading: 15.04 point decrease

Beyond Distraction: Cyberbullying Concerns

Gatchalian also expressed concern about students’ vulnerability to cyberbullying with easy access to mobile devices during school hours.

The bill proposes a balanced approach:

  • Restricted use: Mobile devices are banned during class hours, with exceptions for learning activities, health needs, and risk management.
  • Teacher accountability: The ban applies to teachers and faculty during designated teaching hours as well.
  • Enforcement: Schools face sanctions for non-compliance. Additionally, appropriate consequences would be established within each school’s policies for students who violate the ban.

The proposed bill has sparked discussions. Will this improve the level of basic education in the Philippines?



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