Education Minister James Merlino has announced a ban on mobile phone use in all Victorian public schools, effective from term one of 2020.

The ban aims to counteract several effects of mobile phone use which schools have been struggling with. The most concerning is cyberbullying, which has been steadily increasing in Australian schools and in extreme cases can threaten the safety of students. Also of note is the effect of digital distraction on learning outcomes, and a lack of face-to-face social interaction.

The ban has been applauded by many principals as well as child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, who note that the intended effects are already being seen in schools that have a no-phone policy. Many teachers are more sceptical, both of the ability to implement a ban as well as the lost opportunity to teach young people about beneficial uses of smart phones.

– Luke Henriques-Gomes

Read the article: Victoria to ban mobile phones in all state primary and secondary schools

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