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Schools act to ban cellphones in classrooms

(People's Daily Online)    17:19, May 27, 2019

Guo Jing (not her real name), a sophomore at a university law school in north China's Tianjin city, said using cellphones in class decreases her ability to pay attention, but she just can't help using her mobile phone.


Should universities ban cellphones in class? According to a poll launched by a Chinese media outlet, 50 percent of surveyed university students said yes, and the remaining 50 percent said no.

"I think perhaps rather than just prohibiting us from using cellphones in class, the teachers should also improve their teaching methods," said Guo, explaining that some of her teachers still use the same methods as high school teachers.

University teacher Wang Li (not her real name), admitted that she sometimes wondered if she could make some improvements to her teaching content and methods so that her students would focus more on the class, instead of on their cellphones.

However, she also noted that banning cellphones in classrooms may not be the most effective way to make students focus, because those who want to learn will always focus in class and those who don't will find a way to distract themselves.

Some university students noted that it's impossible to ban the use of cellphones in class once and for all. For younger students, however, it is imperative to ban cellphones, for possible adverse effects such as eyesight damage.

A report on parent-child relationships in the internet era released in 2018 indicated that about 70 percent of primary and middle school students own their own cellphones.

Cellphones bring convenience for students, such as staying in contact with their parents and searching for study materials. On the other hand, the screens on these devices can cause eyesight problems.

Last year, the Ministry of Education, the National Health Commission and six other government departments launched a multilayered action plan to help battle nearsightedness in children.

Besides forbidding students from bringing cellphones and tablets to class, the action plan asks teachers not to rely on electronic devices when teaching and giving assignments, asking them to assign only written homework.

The education department of Zunyi in southwest China's Guizhou province recently released a notice saying that smartphones and tablets would be banned at all primary and middle schools from June 1, 2019.

Tragedies related to the usage of cellphones have shocked the nation in recent years. In 2017, a high school girl in Jiangxi killed herself jumping out from her dorm window after her phone was taken away by her parents because she was caught using her cellphone in class.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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