According to the CDA, telephones should be banned in primary and secondary schools. Schools now make their own rules for the use of telephones by pupils. According to MP René Peters from Oss, this is confusing and there should be a law that means that the same rule applies everywhere in the Netherlands. That is why he advocates a clear rule: no more telephones in the classroom.
For Peters it is clear: “A person cannot do two things at the same time. Phones are good at grabbing your attention. Student who carry phones use them. Of course they do.”
The ban can protect the students against this. “It provides extra teaching time, because teachers no longer have to enforce and students pay more attention. Moreover, it is easy to introduce the rule and it costs nothing. A teacher spends a lot of time with the eternal struggle to get students to put away their cell phones.”
Peters knows what a struggle it can be to keep students focused, because he used to be a teacher himself: “If I told the class to put their mobiles away, they would reappear a few minutes later.”
In his proposal, students put their phones in their lockers upon arrival, thus saving the teacher a lot of hassle. The Education Inspectorate will then check whether the school is complying with the prohibition.
Why is a law is necessary?
Most schools already do not allow the use of a telephone in the classroom. According to Peters, a national law is still necessary. “Our country is very liberal. We want to be able to decide everything ourselves. But in this case it is wrong. In some classes it is allowed, in others it is not. That causes confusion.
Peters is convinced that this small intervention has many benefits. “We have to do something, because it is really harmful to the students. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.”
Research by education consultancy DUO confirms that students suffer from concentration problems and get poorer grades when they are distracted by their telephones. Almost all Dutch secondary school teachers think that students spend too much time on their phones.
According to MP Peters, teachers are fans of this idea, but there is also resistance. This mainly comes from parents who want their child to be reachable at all times or from schools that use telephones in their curricula. Peters says: “The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, and any problems are fairly easy to solve.”
Moreover, according to him, it mainly takes some getting used to: “The first two weeks may cause some resistance, but after that everyone is used to it,” he claims.
Source: Omroep Brabant
For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez