Unesco Calls for Global Ban on Smartphones in Schools
Smartphones should be banned from schools to tackle classroom disruption, improve learning and help protect children from cyberbullying, a UN report has recommended. From a report: Unesco, the UN’s education, science and culture agency, said there was evidence that excessive mobile phone use was linked to reduced educational performance and that high levels of screen time had a negative effect on children’s emotional stability. It said its call for a smartphone ban sent a clear message that digital technology as a whole, including artificial intelligence, should always be subservient to a “human-centred vision” of education, and never supplant face-to-face interaction with teachers.
Unesco warned policymakers against an unthinking embrace of digital technology, arguing that its positive impact on learning outcomes and economic efficiency could be overstated, and new was not always better. “Not all change constitutes progress. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done,” it concluded. With more learning moving online, especially in universities, it urged policymakers not to neglect the “social dimension” of education where students receive face-to-face teaching. “Those urging increasing individualisation may be missing the point of what education is about,” it said.