A total ban will be placed on mobile phones across French primary and secondary schools starting in September 2018. The ban comes in a bid to raise intellectual and social credentials among technologically obsessed millennials.
“These days the children don’t play at break time anymore, they are just all in front of their smartphones and from an educational point of view that’s a problem,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister.
“This is about ensuring the rules and the law are respected. The use of telephones is banned in class. With headmasters, teachers, and parents, we must come up with a way of protecting pupils from loss of concentration via screens and phones,” he said.
“Are we going to ban mobile phones from schools? The answer is yes.”
The proposal surfaced most recently during Emmanuel Macron’s presidential manifesto in May earlier this year.
But it’s an idea that’s been in the pipeline since 2011 when Luc Chatel, then-president of Nicolas Sarkozy’s education minister, told senators: “The use of mobiles has entered modern daily habits. We cannot ignore the need to communicate, notably between children and their parents, who are themselves in demand, naturally outside class hours.”
Not everyone is in agreement about the news. Some people believe that children should be allowed to embrace the modern developments of their era.
Nonetheless, given that up to 40% of punishments are mobile-related, according to Philippe Tournier, a Paris headmaster with the Snpden-Unsa teaching union as reported in The Telegraph, the general consensus is that this move can only inspire positive effects on academic performance.
The benefits aren’t solely limited to intellectual productivity though, but they also focus on social skills.