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UPDATED: October 28, 2013 NO. 44 OCTOBER 31, 2013
Is It Right for Students to Bring Cellphones to School?


Most Chinese primary and middle schools forbid students from bringing cellphones on campus, though to little effect. Some parents hope schools can accept students bringing cellphones to school, as it makes it easy for them to contact their children. But schools have concerns that cellphones will distract students. It seems that simply banning the use of phones at school might prove inadequate in dealing with the problem. The following are excerpts of opinions from the public on this issue:

Huang Lixia (Tianjin Daily): Schools have an obligation to make clear to students the advantages and disadvantages of cellphones.

Phones are not necessarily bad. Properly used, they may help students in their daily life and study, while ensuring they remain connected with friends.

Nevertheless, it is important that teachers set an example by not using their cellphones in class and effectively communicate the issue to parents in order to address the problem at its root. Schools should also install sufficient communication devices on campus for students to use. In turn, more entertainment and sports activities should be organized to enrich extracurricular life and combat technological addiction.

Strict rules are necessary to regulate cellphone use at school and what kinds of information can be accessed. Parents are also tasked with the responsibility of teaching their children good behavior when it comes to using such technology.

Xu Jianing (Hecheng Evening Daily): Students tend to compare phones and show off. This means that ordinary working families are now placed under greater financial pressure to provide their children with the latest gadgets.

Many teachers complain about disruptions to class due to the cellphones. Worse still, they may be used to cheat during examinations. While most schools do not support the use of phones on campus, no firm regulations exist that forbid it.

Proper use of cellphones depend on the guidance of both teachers and parents. With information technology ever present in modern life, simply banning its use will have no long-term impact. Schools are expected to keep up with social trends in education and mobilize whatever resources necessary to help students use their phones in a healthy manner.

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