Schools will enforce specific rules to limit students’ mobile phone use on campus. VCG
Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives. However, to protect younger students’ eyesight and make sure they focus on their studies, primary and middle schools will have more specific rules to limit students’ mobile phone use on campus.
The Ministry of Education released a notice in January that restricts primary and middle school students from carrying mobile phones to school. Those who still require their phone for some reason must get their parents’ and teachers’ approval and must hand their phones over during class time.
The policy aims to improve students’ focus on study and fight addiction to the internet and games.
According to a 2020 report by the China Internet Network Information Center, China had 175 million internet users under the age of 18 in 2019, with 74 percent having their own mobile devices.
This is worrying, as long-time use of smartphones harms children’s eyesight, cervical vertebrae and even the brain, according to the World Health Organization.
On Feb 19, Beijing Municipal Education Commission released a notice that asked all local primary and middle schools to include rules regarding smartphone usage in campus management. Schools should clarify where, how and who will take care of the phones for students who have received approval to bring them.
Many schools have taken measures to limit students’ phone use on campus. According to Zhou Dandan, an English teacher at Beijing No 20 High School, every classroom in her school has a deposit box to store students’ phones during class.
Before the new regulation, she noticed that many students were preoccupied with their phones. Some even played games on them during class. Zhou said that most students lack self-discipline. Spending too much time on the phone will distract them and prevent them from learning, she added.
Li Jisen, an 18-year-old from Beijing 101 Middle School, agrees with the new policy. “In general, there are more advantages than disadvantages,” he said. Li believes that regulating phone use at school is the only way to put the focus back on academics.
Kathy Chen, a parent from Shanghai, allowed her daughter to take her phone to school. Chen said it’s more important to cultivate kids’ ability to self-manage and develop good habits of phone usage.