Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

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According to reputed media outlets, Ontario is set to announce that cellphones will be banned in classrooms, starting in the next school year.

Some schools already have similar policies, but the province will issue a directive to all public schools for the 2019-20 school year.

It will prohibit cellphone use during instructional time.

Enforcement of the ban would be up to individual boards and schools.

The Progressive Conservatives had proposed such a ban in their platform during last year’s election campaign.

Exceptions would be made for when teachers want to use cellphones as part of their lesson, for medical reasons and students with special needs.

“When the school day starts, the phones go off,” one senior government source said. “It’s about recognizing that a school is a learning environment.”

About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class, the sources said.

The Toronto District School Board used to have a cellphone ban but reversed it after four years to let teachers dictate what works best for their classrooms. The board has previously said that enforcing an outright ban was next to impossible and that to curb technology use would be to place limits on educational opportunities as well.

In some classes where teachers are more tolerant of cellphones, many students are known to play games or surreptitiously text and be connected on social media. Needless to say, school grades are affected. Most parents welcome the ban given that it is almost impossible to impose a similar one in their own homes. -CINEWS

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