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1 Dec, 2023 13:22

Russia considers banning cellphones in schools

Several MPs have introduced an amendment to a bill, which originally allowed for the use of devices for educational purposes
Russia considers banning cellphones in schools

A group of Russian lawmakers has introduced an amendment that seeks to declare mobile phones off limits in all schools across the country. Last month, a bill banning their use in schools passed the first reading in the parliament. It originally said that cell phones could be used for educational purposes.

Similar measures have been implemented in multiple other nations, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) advocating such restrictions earlier this year.

On Friday, RIA Novosti, citing a draft of the legislation, reported that the total ban on cellphones in schools was being spearheaded by Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the heads of all parties represented in the Duma.

The media outlet quoted the document as stating that “means of mobile radiotelephone communication are not to be used when conducting lessons… except for instances when a threat arises to the life and health of students [or] workers of an educational organization.

According to the report, citing an MP from the Duma’s education committee, a decision on the proposed amendment could be delivered on Monday.

Also on Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon vowed to rid classrooms of mobile phones within his first 100 days in office.

Last October, UK Education Secretary Gillian Keegan recommended a ban on the use of mobile phones in schools across England, including during recess. The new guidelines are aimed at tackling “disruptive behavior and online bullying, while boosting attention during lessons,” an official statement clarified at the time.

In July, the Dutch government also announced that the use of cell phones would be prohibited in classrooms across the Netherlands come January 1. France introduced a similar ban in 2018, with restrictions also in place in neighboring Italy.

In its report also in July, UNESCO urged governments to clamp down on the use of devices in schools to improve students’ educational performance and address the adverse effect that it said technology can have on their emotional stability.

Not all change constitutes progress,” UN experts warned in the document, pointing to potential drawbacks of overreliance on digital technology in the field of education.