The Ministry of Education of France has confirmed that students of Primary and Secondary schools in France starting in the new session in September 2018 will be forbidden to use their mobile phones at the school. The schools already have imposed phone ban in the classrooms, but the new rule will bar them from using these devices between lessons, during lunch and breaks.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in an interview with Le Grand Jury TV program on Sunday said, “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.”
It is not yet clear how the phone ban will work in reality, with issues to be resolved including where students can keep their phones and whether teachers will have to search their students.
According to Mr. Blanquer,”We are currently working on this [ban] and it could work in various ways.” He further added,”Phones may be needed for teaching purposes or in cases of emergency so mobile phones will have to be locked away.”
One headmaster in Marseille, southern France, said he remained unconvinced about this “so-called miracle solution”, saying that phones could get mixed up, lost or stolen. “If they are switched off at the bottom of the bag, then it works,” he said.
Peep, a group representing the parents of French schoolchildren, had termed this as a skeptical measure saying,”We don’t think it’s possible at the moment.” According to the head of Peep, Gerard Pommier,”Imagine a secondary school with 600 pupils. Are they going to put all their phones in a box? How do you store them? And give them back at the end?”
The ban will cover primary schools and children aged 11 to 15 at schools known as “colleges” in France. Phones will not be banned from sixth-form colleges.