Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
UNESCO report urges ban on smartphones in schools, to “Put Learners First”
UNESCO report urges ban on smartphones in schools, to “Put Learners First”

A United Nations report suggests that smartphones should be banned from schools to focus on learners first and tackle classroom disruption. According to the report, this move could enhance learning and help protect children from cyberbullying.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that there is evidence that excessive use of mobile phones lead to reduced educational performance, and more screen time impacts the emotional stability of children negatively.

UNESCO also highlighted that technology, including AI and smartphones, are subservient to the “human-centred vision” of education and these technologies could never replace the face-to-face interaction between students and teachers. 

UNESCO issued a warning to policymakers against the unthinking embrace of technology. The UN specialised agency argues that new was not always better, the positive impact of digital technology on learning outcomes and economic efficiency could be exaggerated.

The UNESCO report concluded, “Not all change constitutes progress. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done.”

The UNESCO report also pointed out that there is very less robust research which shows that digital technology inherently adds value to education. The report also commented that the majority of the evidence available is done by private education companies to sell their digital products.

UNESCO stated that the growing influence of technology on education policy around the world was a concern.

According to UNESCO’s report, every country must ensure to have clear objectives and principles that digital education avoids harm to individual student’s health and more widely to democracy and human rights.

The UNESCO report also said that countries like China use digital devices as teaching tools for only 30% of all teaching time and waking up to the importance of putting learners first.

First Published: Jul 26 2023 | 6:09 PM IST


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