With the school year about to start across the world, one country is taking away a major distraction for the classroom, in an effort to help students focus on learning. France recently passed a law banning smartphones from all schools, meaning students will not even be allowed to bring the devices to their school and must leave them at home.
The new law, passed on Monday, applies to all children between the ages of three and fifteen. Students older than fifteen typically attend high school, known as lycee in France, and the new law allows each high school to decide whether to enact the ban or not.
The new law banning smartphones also bans tablets and any internet-connected devices during school hours. France has been working on this new law for months, in an effort to combat the screen addiction phenomenon that is sweeping younger generations. Children as young as three are barely able to speak but can easily navigate smartphones and tablets to play games and use applications.
Cell phone bans in school are not a new idea, as cell phones typically have to be turned off during school hours, while some teachers in the United States require students to place their phones in a box or on a teacher’s desk during class, in an effort to stop students from using them. With the creation and popularity of smartphones, learning has made many advances, as students can use the calculator and other applications to enhance their learning experience.
Unfortunately, smartphones and the millions of games available on their platforms also make it easy for students to not pay attention. Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer explained that “Our main role is to protect children and adolescents. It is a fundamental role of education, and this law allows it.” A law passed in 2010 banned the use of smartphones in school, and almost all teachers in France do not allow students to use them in class, but this law bans students from even bringing these items to school.