They don’t need distractions
Just imagine who the most consistent caller would be, if high school kids had access to mobile phones in school. Would it be their parents? Definitely not! It wouldn’t be anyone wishing them success. My guess is it would be either their teenage lovers or worse, older lovers who don’t give a rat’s behind about these youngsters’ academics.
Before anything is ‘allowed’, we must assess the importance - I wonder whether it was assessed that having phones in school adds value to academic excellence.
Phones are such strong distractions that even grownups find it hard to concentrate with them switched on. Personally, every time I have an important book to read, an interview to conduct or I’m simply engaging in a fruitful discussion, I switch my phone off.
When I forget and that annoying caller-tune buzzing from my pockets goes off, I get lost. Let’s not forget- today’s phones are not just phones- they are sophisticated gadgets with as many functions as life itself.
Therefore, when kids are authorized to take phones to school, they aren’t just carrying a simple calling machine but video games, movies and the like.
As if that is not enough, there are social media applications and their effects on concentration; a friend of mine in South Africa went AWOL on me on Facebook for close to two months! Naturally, I wanted to find out what was going on, so I called her and asked what the issue was.
She apologized and said that social media sites were blocked at her workplace. Accordingly, her bosses were sick of making zero profits simply because their employees spent more time on Facebook than on productive activities.
Now, if older people entertain such distractions, what can we expect from a bunch of hyper teenagers?
Do you remember that empty showbiz at school- the cooler kids had the nicest clothes, shoes and enough money to buy breakfast all term long? Allowing phones at school raises the bar- the coolest kids will no longer be the ones with cool clothes but the ones with a Blackberry.
There is need for communication, yes, no one is disputing that- but for purposes of concentration at school, owning a phone isn’t going to help these young girls and boys and school.
If they want to communicate back home, they can approach a teacher and borrow a phone. Alternatively, every boarding secondary school should have a phone booth.